Saturday, April 25, 2009
Go to a local government building or monument, courthouse, statue or prison, but a government structure, one paid for by all tax payers. This monument or building is something you paid to create, something you pay to upkeep. It stands for the collective stronghold of our nation, as Americans, as America moves and removes our collective fingerprints around the world as a military, as a business, as a structure of faces supplanting trust and empathy with a guise of trust and empathy under the guise of one flag. This is not to say an angry poem must ensue. This is just saying LET'S GET CLEAR. This is not to suggest you read up on American assassinations of leftist governments in South America, this is just saying KNOW what you already know to be true when coming to this poem. We're here as Americans. It's an American poem in a way that has roots, literally roots. Study the plants if there are plants. Study the grass around this government building or monument. Smell samples of the soil. What's around? See everything as best as you can, sit very still and look closely at the world as it always is around this structure you have come to today. DO NOT ENGAGE IN COVERSATION WITH OTHERS. You're here for how you see it, how you see this structure, how you see our country. This is personal. The date presently is April, 2009. We are at war on more than one front, millions of lives have been lost, and who knows how many more are at stake as our tax dollars purchase bullets and bombs, prisons and worse. Look at this structure you have come to, and know you are paying for its upkeep. You have a claim to it today. Take a list of notes about the structure, but these will be the notes you glean from later, as these are not the real notes for the poem. Take another list of notes while investigating the plant life, the soil, the natural surroundings. Take yet another list of notes about the government structure, only this time take notes about WHAT it is made from. Is there wood? Is there metal? Write in your notes about trees and rocks, iron and oil. Write about the elements all these parts of the structure originated from, and how they arrived here by boat and truck. Take the notes of the government structure broken down into the finer notes of the natural elements the structure originated from, and combine those notes with the notes of the natural world surrounding the structure today. Weave these notes, as this is an exercise in weaving notes. Now with the FEELINGS you have of being an American TODAY, whose tax dollars continue to pay for the cost TRUE HUMAN COST of two wars, form these final notes into a poem BUT WITHOUT EVER mentioning the government structure. And without directly involving America by name. Write a poem as a poet of the world with feelings for our collective human costs of war. Write this poem through THE GRASS AND TREES you see around you. Now take all your notes, and using THE FILTERS "ALERT" and "EXILE" shape your poem.
Posted by poet CAConrad at 3:06 PM