of the moment
to the hour..."
|To sleep perchance to dream -- to wake up and it's off to work. The tick tick of the clock tock tock, the beat beat of the heart, the crash crash of the waves against the shore -- the methodical irresistability of time marches on. But when you look up from the computer screen and see the reflection off the water cooler, when you step outside to have a smoke and the symphony of the streets suddenly strikes a major|
|chord, when the teacher's barking stops and sheer silence envelops the classroom, when the smell of the manure signals growth and the warmth of the sun is skin itself -- the poetry behind time's inexorability can strike at any moment. The poetry of the moment gives meaning to the hour, and the actual writing of a poem engages the richness and complexity of life. Here is A Day in the Life of "The United States of Poetry," just one of the 24 segments that cycle every 7 over a period of 365 every year. Each one just like the one before and the next, each one as different as night and day.||
In a recent performance at Lincoln Center, REV. PEDRO PIETRI finally gave himself a promotion: he is now Bishop Pedro! A fixture on the streets of Nueva York, Pietri sells poems with condoms as a living art performance -- and a way to break even with life.
The Cook Boys have been known to sit on tiny curbs outside 7-11's and trade bits of wise-cracking venom they call "poems." MATT COOK might be their leader, although he isn't going anywhere, Sean McNally is trying to get his poems published in Fighting Knives magazine, Rockabilly poet Tim Cook thinks the guy who invented the tractor is to blame for the demise of the farm and thus, Western Civilization. Their ages add up to 65, so they plan to leave Milwaukee and retire soon to Santa Claus, Indiana. They are unpublished.
Professor of Creative Writing at Brown by way of the Ozarks, CD WRIGHT edits, with her husband, the poet Forrest Gander, Lost Roads books. Former Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, she curated an exhibition for the state of Arkansas called "A Walk-In Book," which incorporates letterpress broadsides of poems, photographs, videos and crafts to evoke the arts and the artists of the state.
DEREK WALCOTT won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He lives in Brookline, Mass., and teaches at Harvard; his luminous writings evoke the cultural diversity and richness of the Caribbean, where he was born, in St. Lucia.
CZESLAW MILOSZ, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Lithuania and grew up in Poland. He is known as a poet of truth -- his visions of war are harrowing portraits of suffering, of humanity somehow coming through inhumanity, and vice versa. He lives and teaches in Berkeley.
Of all the voices to arise from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, perhaps the most unusual is HAL SIROWITZ’s. A native of Flushing, Queens, the NEA awarded him a Fellowship in 1994 in Poetry, the MacDowell Colony has had him in residence, and through it all he keeps on teaching his special ed grade school students back in Queens. Hal's Mother Says was the leading poetry title in Norway in 1998.
You are looking over merchandise at the Goodwill Store in Missoula, Montana, touching the lives of those who once inhabited these coats and shoes. Not Twilight Zone: this is a poem by Missoulan SHERYL NOETHE, whose work resonates deeply, a kind of soul-to-soul recycling. Sheryl has taught poetry to Deaf kids in New York, hearing kids in Salmon, Idaho, and head trauma survivors and other developmentally disabled individuals in Missoula.
We were sent a mimeo magazine from Nashville, and one of the poems, "Morels," struck a chord. We'd never heard of the author, DAN POWERS, but located him at work at the TVA. He sent us a video of his reading the piece, about his friend Vantrease who had to leave his farm and go to work at the Sears catalogue store. The reading was extraordinary, and thus Dan, father of three, regular at the Nashville Open Mic scene, finds himself a citizen of "The United States of Poetry."