[June writing group participants at the Shambhala
Center meditating, photo by Jacqueline Gens]
This month we will be meeting on the first Saturday, August 6, 2016 at our usual Shambhala Center in Shelburne Falls for our meditation and writing group at 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Later on August 13, I will facilitate a day-long workshop in Guilford, VT description listed here--Ordinary Mind, Sacred World.
The emphasis I encourage is a non-conceptual approach to the writing process based on my many years training at the Naropa Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and my working for the late poet Allen Ginsberg. Over the years as my own poetry craft has evolved, I've developed a number of tried and true methods that allow both beginner and seasoned writers to enter fully into what I call Poetrymind. Drawing on decades of resources I share with participants, we explore the various entres into the creative process that encourage a fresh perspective for our writing.
For our July meeting, we gathered at our usual green market for lunch while we read our poems. It always amazes me that a particular theme emerges among all the different poems brought to the table. Listening to poems, I distinctly recollected Louis Zukovsky's slogan quoted by Ginsberg in his Mind Writing Slogans--"Only Emotion Objectified Endures." This slogan is a spin off on Pound's "only emotion endures."
Naturally, there are all sorts of discussion about what this means. In Barbara's 4/13 American Sentence below, one senses the pure objective declaration of externals that nonetheless show a deeply personal experience of lonliness. While, on the other hand, Donna's poem indicates a deeply personal catalog of internal observations. In any case, some interesting considerations to regard as both caught us in their equally "vivifying" contents.
Here is Donna D'fini's poem she brought to us...(written in 1968!)
Looking on a thawing river in bright afternoon sun
SPRING IS DANGEROUS
The cat did not know how to lick tears, not gazed,
meowpurring (her sigh) into my face.
The Spring day pretended to be real, when really
the only reality is abstract, uncontained by time or place.
All the ideas of the day ebbed and flowed through my
mind's sieve, searching for gold particles of meaning.
People forget, people remember and it is all the same, as history
will tell you.....and why os the reality of alone so demeaning.
So hard to accept, that all public and secret western rituals conspire
to hide the empty space.
Sometimes I can fill it with flowers or stars, both face in cycles
and the little cracks of emptiness show through my face.
It's not blue but colorless,
not black but colorless,
not transparent but colorless
Hell is no color.
Whatever Sartre said - who lives in classrooms, stages
and dusty shelves - no longer in deBeauvoir's memory...
now only memories of a dead lover.
And then two more works from Barbara Paparazzo
April snow flurries, the fire gone out, by myself eating tangerines
Bushel basket empty
but with presence
just sitting there in the grass.