Friday, December 07, 2007
Welcome, friends, today I invite you to set upon a world journey with me as I visit poets near and far, spending some time soaking in their local flavor and embracing their poetic gifts.
This is my fictional virtual trip around the world with poetry:
I jump in a cab, tell the driver to get me to O'Hare and make it quick. The Dan Ryan expressway is thick with traffic and, as always, there is construction. By the time I'm at the airport, I'm in need of a something to relax me. While sipping a cappuccino, I jot down a quick poem.
I fall asleep during the flight and when I wake up I'm across the pond in cheery old England, on my way to visit a Sweet Talking Guy in Manchester. We head down to his local watering hole and he tells me the sad tale that inspired his poem titled She dumped me. But Danny Wise can't be kept down for long and by the time he drove me back to Heathrow he was cracking me up with jokes about the best rejection notes he ever recieved from publishers.
Another plane ride, another nap, then I'm in Japan to meet Traveler. He takes me to the Akibasan Ryougaku-in Temple for the Hibuse Festival where we enjoy rice cakes and watch mountain priests give thanks for fire and water by lighting fires. Traveler shares with me his love of reading classical literature and writing poetry. I marvel at the way he creates a vivid, camera sharp picture with his words in the poem World Music.
After a ride on Tokyo's thrilling Shinkansen,
the bullet train, and taking in the views Mount Fuji, I head back to the airport to grab my flight to Vienna,home of the remarkably unique poet Shakir Hasnain.
In Austria, we spend the day catching up, discussing art and literature, joy and pain, life and death while walking around The Innere Stadt. He gives me a copy of his poem, on the way to the wizard's dwelling, which I read in the cab as I'm wisked back to the Vienna International Airport, bound to leave Europe behind for America once more.
The next stop for me is Massachusetts to see Sister AE. She cooks me a great meal and we talk about politics, religon and why we both hate doing stomach crunches. She seems like a kindred spirit, making me grateful I got the chance to stop in and read her poem, American Loire Song.
I've had more than enough of flying, coach no less- it seems writing poetry doesn't bring in the big bucks like you might think- so I hop on Amtrack to head across the country to see the last poet on my itinerary.
Jack meets me at the Phoenix Union Station in Arizona. He takes me to the Greater Phoenix Poetry Slam at The Paper Heart. After the show, he drives me back to the train station, and we discuss what inspired his screen name, Monkey boy, plus he explains what the term Ming Yun means. I almost don't make my train because I am enthralled with hearing about his time in the Phillipines and how that inspired his poem, Tagalo(n)g.
I'm exhausted when I crawl into my seat on the train, soon my eyes drift down and I dream of the beautiful lands and words I've experienced on this poetic vacation. When I'm back in Chicago, I head over to Navy Pier, stare out onto the placid, peaceful waters of Lake Michigan and mentally began to compose a new poem
As wonderful as it was to see the world through poetry, its nice to finally be back home.
Thanks for traveling with me.
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