baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Monday, August 04, 2008

po com

I have not been around too many poets these past few years. In Bangkok, I was the only one that I knew. I did not look. A friend of mine made movies. We talked about scripts and stories. I wrote the Empty Forest (most of it), but I did not talk poetry. I did not publish in poetry magazines. I did not know about poetry blogs. This was around 2003. I don’t think very many people knew about poetry blogs or about online magazines. I think it would have helped my brain if I had found them then. After a year in BKK, I headed for Seoul. Again, no poets. It was me and ESL and some really good folks who liked to eat and drink. My brain was fixed, but still no face to face po. And then Matt Langley came. We talked a bit about the poetry. Mostly we adventured around and wrote poetry when we were not eating grilled meat. Langley left. A few months later, Marcus Slease came. He was in Seoul for about a year. Again, we ate meat. Watched some baseball. A bit of the world cup. We talked little about poetry. Marcus left for Poland. Pirooz came next. This was a big one. Pirooz is and was one of my best friends. Still, most of the time we spent was at Jazz bars, at meat restaurants and at booths winning stuffed animals. There was a time though, about a one month stretch, where we worked very very hard on the Louisiana Purchase. The work was focused. We had a job to do. He helped me to see the Purchase and for that I am grateful. During this time Loren Goodman showed up in Seoul. I knew of Loren. When I was in BKK I read about his book, Famous Americans. He was a famous American. He came and we talked some poetry, but mostly we ate dumplings and won stuffed animals. I think, what it comes down to, in short, is that I am not much of a poetry talker. I like being around poets when they are not doing the poetry. I like seeing their work when they are done or need to talk about it, but most of the time I like watching baseball. I consider each of the people I mentioned very good friends. All of their work has appeared in past simple, and Langley and I did a book. I love their work. But, no talk. I was very productive during this time. I wrote and blogged and published and had my work published. So, maybe poetry community means something else to me… or maybe I was away from it for so long that it was not a part of my process… or maybe it takes more than three poets in a room to really feel a community. Well, whatever the case, I will soon be around more than three poets. SY and I will be on a plane in one week. UEA, here I come. I am excited to see what changes. Marcus is in London and loving the poetry. London is just over 100 miles away, so I can jump down there. I certainly will jump down there to see him, to go to pubs and a footy match or two. Suspect other poets will be met. Suspect friends will be made. Good times had…. I think this post got started bc of Marcus talking about how happy he is to be in a community again. How it helps his work. I will not know until I try. I have not been around a large group of poets since I was at Naropa. That was five years ago. So much has changed since then.


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