Seattle, WA
Poet, blogger, lawyer, educator, sista, sister, aunt, daughter, mentor, friend, dog owner, lover of music and all things gluten free... Writing about all of this and more.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Speak to Me Update

The Speak to Me Event was fantastic. It was a very small, intimate group and the Gallery is a beautiful space. The poets boasted a range of styles and talents and really brought it, yours truly included, if I do say so myself.

About the Artwork
Because of permission concerns, to view the painting I suggest you just click here and you should be able to follow the link to the portfolio of Shirley Rudolph, the artist who created the painting "Temporary Fix," which inspired my poem, "A Poem for People Looking for Answers."

It's a great painting. An array of country flags set across a black background are then overshadowed by stark-red question marks splattered into the foreground. Slogans and phrases related to politics, political ideology, and political dialogue are quietly placed around the flags.

The painting was the visual representation of how I often feel about following world politics, and the following is the poetic inspiration that came from it:

"A Poem For People Who Want Answers"

An ocean of ink spills across page,
A cleansing, rewriting worries into problems solved
Painting this troubled canvas til it looks like Freedom,
Is ready to wave itself high

Fly, above war torn families who can’t stomach a Memorial Day barbecue
Above fist-pumping youth on the Gaza, now just bodies, who wanted answers and got them, wanted aid and got none

Above "Dear Leader’s" muffled masses, fearing nuclear vengeance from unexplained sunken warships

Ready to wave itself high, fly
A freed bird, unsoiled by blackened waters
Untouched by dark addictions that have long seeped into the culture of we changelings, we hopefuls who said, “Yes We Can!” but didn’t know how we would

If I could, I’d let the ink spill across every newspaper page
Paint over rage and hateful laws that tell us the solution to all of our angst is to question each other’s right to be
Right to stand on this patch of soil or that
Right to speak this colonial tongue or that
Right to write our opinions on page, paper or web, and invite others to dialogue

I’d paint mountains into those sharp lines that trace the movement of the Euro, the Dollar, the Yuan
Splash blood-red dancing question marks across each country flag, begging the question

Who are we?

Will we ever be able to gather all our politics and in one giant cipher have a moment of reckoning where we see our own political guesswork as it is, acknowledge how fragile we, and our so called solutions, really are?

Will we ever commit to discarding flimsy slogans and empty rhetoric, because deep down we all know we need more than a strong cork to plug this oil spill?

We need real, true, progress that only happens through struggle, through community, that only emerges when we refuse to act with impunity, when we accept ourselves as flawed, fumbling, bumbling things who've been looking for a temporary fix to long term problems and have only found ourselves getting dirtier and more confused in the process

If I could, I’d let ink spill across newspaper page and canvas, rely on divine inspiration to paint a clear picture of who we are and who we must become if we intend to leave this place in one piece and in working order for our children
I’d paint over this troubled canvas until it betrays a glint of hope, and I’d let the page wave high, fly, like a freedom flag we all would willingly and sincerely salute

An ocean of ink spills across page,
A cleansing, rewriting worries into problems solved
Painting this troubled canvas til it looks like Freedom,
Is ready to wave itself high


The event was inspiring, a great communion of artists. I'm glad I was a part of it!

I learned from the experience that when I pour a little into my craft, I get good results--people seemed to like the delivery of the poem. (In fact, I won $25!) More importantly, this means that if I were to pour even more into my creative interests, I just might approach the level I am aiming for.

Gotta get on it then.

Thanks for reading.

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