Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Readings at the Criss

Poetry events are the highlight of my sl week, and I definitely love the time I get to spend at the Criss Museum of Contemporary Art each Tuesday at 5SLT. Tonight we had fewer than last week, but that didn't stop some wonderful poetry from being read. Bubbles, House, Costello, and Amindigo all read very good, but very diverse pieces. Rafe appeared for awhile, but left after I started reading (I'm not offended *sniff, sniff*). Interesting conversations on the nature of poetry too (both before and after the event).

The readings are good for me, but less for what they do for me as an artist, and more for what they do for me as a person.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I know you didn’t mean it to me directly,
but in one poem (exceptionally read), you stuck a huge stick of dynamite up in me and
blasted everything I believe in,
and I don’t know how I feel about that.

Although I applaud, from a place as deep as my doubt, after everything you do,
I sat there silent, and then left the room.
I didn’t have anything to say.
I hate feeling stupid.

I felt like a fourth grader when the cool kid walks up to him
and says, “You’re stupid,”
and then punches him in the face.
That puny little guy goes away and pretends it doesn’t hurt until the swelling goes down.

I wanted to say, “Hey, I hated it like you.
I doubted it. I kicked against the wall of human suffering.
I wandered into churches at night and shook my fist at the stained glass above me.”
But it got stuck in my throat.

I have fought this fight before with
Sylvia Plath and Charles Bukowski,
and a hundred other poets—like you­—whom I love,
but who—like you—would hate what I am if they knew me.

I don’t feel the hatred you say engulfs my beliefs. I wanted to, but
I hear your words ricocheting down the halls of my mind,
and I can see down that hall because of the sparks made by your mastery of sound.
And I love what that has done for me as an artist.

Some would say, “I feel pity for somebody that doesn’t believe in God,”
but that’s just arrogant,
and I don’t feel particularly proud of myself right now nor condescending.
I definitely don’t want to be the sole representative of a two thousand year old religion.

I don’t feel wounded
because I know you weren’t angry with me;
I’m not sure you were angry at all.
I feel a little novocained right now, and I have to come to.

Maybe I love you
because you shook the tree I sit in
and if a tree is strong enough to sit in,
it’s strong enough to shake.

I guess I did take it personally
because I have read the book cover to cover
and took it in, like a lover memorizes a face,
and I actually thought it out instead of just accepting it
in a ribboned box at Christmas.

I guess it bothers me that sooner
or later we reach this fork in the road—this diversity fork—
and we can look at each other and be tolerant just so long before separating into different paths.
I see you getting smaller in the distance.

I guess I wonder if two people
build on different foundations, that are,
to the other one, invisible,
can they ever really see the other person’s building at all?

I guess I wonder
if you knew what I actually believed,
and that I bought into what you see as lies,
if you would still respect me.

And I hate that.
Because I really shouldn’t care.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Finding Me

I wish I wrote my poems with such style
That everyone that heard would be amazed
At how the syllables danced, all the while
Enchanting readers helpless, listening, dazed.
But I don’t do that.

I wish I could make love to the erotic poem.
One that slowly slips the blouse of disinterest off the shoulders—
shhh, don’t resist--
to fall carelessly on the floor,
and holds each curve of metaphor adoringly
before worshipping their perfect creation.
The one that licks around the edges of intent,
pulling gently with the lips,
and guides open the legs of entendre,
exploring and savoring each drop of response
as it probes the mind of the readers
slowly, rhythmically
looking up at them,
until it forces them with consuming shudders to come
to understand exactly what I intended them to feel.
But I don’t do that.

I wish I was a master of spoken word
demanding my message be heard
or I’ll knock you ‘side the head with my diction
the prediction in my fiction
forcing you to grab on, hold tight,
spin around,
shaking you,
breaking you,
making you
love the mouse that roared
in my house that soared higher than anybody
ever thought poetry could take them.
I could throw in an “ation”
like syncopation
with the nation
of anticipation.
I wanna curse
and be political,
maybe even Democrat.
But I don’t do that.

All I can do
is stand
on white tile
and bleed
and cry as I try to clean the mess
and hope
that someone who hears me
feels somewhat warmer
knowing that the coldness of the world
is shared.

Starting Out

Well, this is the first day of blogging for ol' Jeff Lowbeam, and as the poem above suggests, I haven't quite figured out the whole Second Life thing. I came to this world to increase traffic to my poetry site. So far, my SL self has become better known than my RL self. For those of you who are saying, "I don't know either of you..." I do a regular reading at Criss Museum of Contemporary Art at 5slt on Tuesdays. So far I've done just one, but my line reader broke, and ToryLynn had to save me. House, Sabreman, and ToryLynn were responsible for getting people to the event better than I did myself, and we heard some great poetry. I also read at the Blue Angel on Sundays which, thanks to Persephone Phoenix, is just about the high point of my SL week. I feel fortunate to have met so many very artisitic people on SL. If you read this, add me as a friend. I love meeting people from around the world, especially creative ones.

LIfe in a Second

What is this other life I live?
Do I take on divinity
and create an image
of what I wish I was,
carefully selecting the items of me I
like and forming out of digital clay
only what I find tolerable?
Starting from scratch, do I
throw away the original blueprints
and build the new stronger,
version of Poet 2.0?

Or do I merely
birth a crying babe
into pixilated life?
A form released from molecules and age.
A man more like meThan I could ever be myself.