(shape of the poem "Golden In The Morning Crane Our Necks")
When I began writing poems using (Soma)tic poetry rituals, they became shapes. At first I tried to allow the poem to languish on the left margin, but I felt ill. Then I felt anxious while also feeling compelled to move the lines off of the left margin. The more I pushed the words into the page's interior, the better I felt.
Muses, ghosts, spirits, there is no doubt of their existence to me. On occasion, I have met people who say they do not believe, and I am okay with that. For those who do believe in spirits who guide us in our poems, let me share a couple of things. One morning as I was waking, a voice came to me from the dimension I was about to leave upon waking. The voice said, "You have too many straight lines in your human world. We want to show you the way out of the violence of the line." After that, I never again resisted shaping the poems, and I was eager to allow all the help they wanted to offer.
Another morning the voice said, "The shape of a poem is the space between us. The poems are the bridge we use to one another." Who are you? "Many" was the answer. Many? I began thinking of all the beautiful people I knew who died, not just grandparents, who I also loved, but the many souls I knew who died of AIDS. Painters, singers, prostitutes, janitors, poets, the many who died were somehow pushing up to my ear, to my hair and face, singing a little song for me to translate. From 1975 to 2005, they allowed me to write most of my poems on the left margin. Since 2005 they have wanted me to explore the broader reasons I find sustenance and strength in the poem's work.