Friday, April 16, 2010

Poetry as an Act of Meditation/Mediation

Following up on an EARLIER POST: I read my poem at a more populated location today: Broad Street near Snyder. As far as I could tell, no one paid the least attention--but then, I was too involved in the reading to notice.

Today's reading left me with two impressions. The first was a reflection on how much time we spend each day (those of us who live in a city)... alone in a crowd. I was struck by what a peculiarly unnatrual state this is--how truely strange to be in such intimate proximity with so many people with no significant interaction whatsoever. I thought of the recent Flashmobs in the news--and they seemed a perfectly natural reaction to the anxious, studied indifference--the iPod/cellphone insularity--which seems almost to beg for violence--anything to break the shells of indifference.

The second reflection came out of the poem I happened to be reading... which named the Morris-Tasker Broad Street station. What was I doing at Broad and Synder, I thought? And from that, an idea for this exercise in the coming days.

I'm giving myself the following instructions:

Take your poem and read it aloud in any location you have named, described or invoked in a poem you've written. Do this alone. Not as performance--but as meditation. Especially if there are people around... an alternative to violence and indifference, transforming the everyday experience of being alone in a crowd into a transitory ACT of ART.

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