Friday, May 15, 2009

Turn Honesty Into Art, It Really Is Magic

Here are two poems, quickly written in the evening of this year's first day. There were things going on, and one of them was settling ever more into this thing I am doing. I am still under vows. I have said it many times now, like I mean it, and even deeper, I have acted. I have posted 328 poems. Actually 329, because one of them was published in a quarterly and I have not posted it here. My list of poems to publish numbers 436 right now and I have two more to load in from today. 438 poems yet to publish... It won't be a year until August.

Part of this was a deep and unfocussed sense of mortality, as I thought it might be. That's where this heart attack comes in. It is obvious I would think, now that it is revealed, that the heart trouble was building over time, and I was living with it, not interpreting the symptoms right. I expect, if the stent works that several vague and not so vague issues will dissipate. I am fragile yet. But I feel in certain ways better than I have in a couple years.

I don't think this is all of it. Why am I under vows to write two or more poems a day?

I know who...I am under vows to the Master of Poets. God in this facet. I am under vows as was Hafiz, the Sufi mystic First Poet of Persia. From time to time one feature or another of my situation arises in a poem. Usually I say, Yup. That's true. Then, I say, that's not it though. Turn honesty into art. Yup. That's not it though, or else poems of fantasy and science fiction wouldn't count, and they do. Oh yes, they do. In this particular game it has to resolve into one thing, the poetical Theory of Everything.

Turn Honesty Into Art

The way this thing goes,
This poetry thing happened
And now I'm in vows
Like my man Hafiz
To turn honesty to art
Before the Lord, you,
All of you, spirit
Moving across my heart bones,
I turn in my grave.

Digging myself out
Or maybe digging me in,
Deeper into God.

1/01/2009 7:11 PM


Right after I wrote this, I found myself on a certain blog site that inspired me to write this next poem. I had no idea what would happen and it was a deeply personal poem. I chose to take a risk. It worked and now I have a very good friend. Diplomacy is not always about staying safe.

It Really Is Magic

Gosh! It's like magic
The way the words flutter down
Into dancing dots,
Into this small box,
Into your heart through sad eyes
That are turned away.

I wonder how I'll
Turn you 'round or if it's me
That does this thing.

January 1, 2009 7:26 PM


  1. I love the thought of turning honesty into art. And I really love the imagery of the second poem. Gorgeous.

  2. Your poetry is a calling, Christopher, and I think you're right about the "heart thing" coming out in your poetry before you were conscious of it. Both of these are excellent.

  3. Karen, I have seen this mystery in others and I have experienced it. It is the best direct evidence of the unconscious that I know of, a part of me bigger somehow or different than I can graps but acts in its own way with intelligence. I believe it is a mistake to ever think I can expand my mind somehow and gather this other thinking inside the gates of my consciousness. This other thinking is OTHER. It is not a mistake, however, to befriend it and get more closely aligned to it. Part of that will be a kind of "blind" faith, trusting its wisdom and letting what can be no better than hunches have more sway in my life. I have been working toward that for a long time now, with modest success. To wit: my first heart attack was a bump in the road, not a major event.

    Catv., I am glad that works for you, and I see that. It is, of course, the kind of art that comes from the dictate to young artists to come from what you know. So I see turning honesty into art as a primary goal. It of course presumes enough maturity, courage or naivete to actually permit honesty.

    But beyond are the realms of imagination and metaphor, the way the words and visions have a life of their own and will turn where they will, allowing for a deeper, less personal honesty to be revealed for the first time in my life through my art. This kind of meta-honesty is not mine at all. I belong to it, not the other way around. In this way my art, controlled elsewhere, turns into me.

  4. It's interesting to see what drives others to write. The honesty is one thing. Revelation is another. Sometimes even in others interpreting your own words, things are revealed.

    I wish I could see your poems when I come back here. I can only remember so much at once.

  5. Ah, there, I figured it out. I can see your poems while here.

    I do wonder if delving deeper into self does connect or reveal some devine. That's an interesting thought, for sure.

    Now magic - magic is my friend.

  6. Wiaw, magic is indeed a friend, but don't mistreat it, remember Mickey Mouse, the Sorceror's Apprentice.

  7. magic....If you believe in magic, come along with me
    We'll dance until morning 'til there's just you and me
    And maybe, if the music is right
    I'll meet you tomorrow, sort of late at night
    And we'll go dancing, baby, then you'll see
    How the magic's in the music and the music's in me

    Yeah, do you believe in magic
    Yeah, believe in the magic of a young girl's soul
    Believe in the magic of rock and roll
    Believe in the magic that can set you free
    Ohh, talking 'bout magic

  8. ooop.....

    lovin' spoonful wrote those lyrics....

  9. you will write
    more poems than anyone;
    you know
    how honesty and magic
    dance hand in hand
    in a union...

  10. My very good friend, Ghost, thank you for reminding me of The Lovin Spoonful. That is straight out of my time, soul on my sleeve, sure we were saving the world...I was one of the sincere ones, and not a Nazi in far left clothing either. I was one of the circle of honest dope dealers on the south side of the San Jose State campus.

    human being, it is kind of you to say so. I wish I had more time. If I am financially responsible in my own life, I don't have enough time to get all around the www. I wish to hang out more with you and Jon and I wish to be more present with my own work too. I don't have enough practice time in the music either.

  11. the heartbone
    desires the
    soft poems of love
    filtering in
    full of light & joy

    you are bursting with poems
    and songs and praise Christopher.

  12. Aibreann, welcome and thank you for your poem. Poems are always welcome here.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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