For writers there is a perpetual flow of ideas; a few are original, most are not. There is a good argument that originality loses its spark if one’s efforts are contrived, or done to gratify personal needs, are overly-influenced by another’s work, or become too intellectualized. Following are some darting thoughts about the process and what, I’m convinced, embodies creativity’s most valuable aspect of being able to think and act independently:
Those who strive for originality…
to remain vibrant,
or vigorously focused
without succumbing to some
more as a guileless
without looping or lapsing
into mannerism or affectations;
a personal challenge to remain original
without contention, or imitating self, or passing off
an old model-of-self; some contrived effort
to be seen with favor, (or)
to relive the
warmth and joy of
past seasons and victories
by re-hashing what once worked
out from the ruts,
figuring the perfect-fitness
of what is shared while
reflect only the sniveling drivel
of a writer’s beleaguered life…
achievement in a false nimbus
invariably forces the greatest achievers
to their knees (temporarily) to reveal (to them)
(and to all those watching) that no human
is the full-bottle on anything…..
(at times) finding
health in an art-form
where opinions are like weeds;
where arrogance becomes a shield
(to keep hidden all pecking-insecurities);
where the ceaseless cacophony of ‘me-noise’
refuses to understand why another’s hopeful face,
glowing from within, decays day-after-day,
or why a philosophic man is
obliged to mull a
in winters savagery, or
why faith causes the steadfast to
pause – momentarily – admitting they are
fully content to die in fields of common grass…
has its makers,
as every masterpiece
has (hidden in its guts) some
awful struggle; or perhaps some loss,
or life-altering circumstance, which
addresses the human-condition
with heedful strength as
bears an ongoing challenge to
palliate human-suffering and – if somehow
blessed to do so – (if only briefly) becomes
more archetypal than all originality
pawned-off with only
the faded colors
of worn-out dollar bills…
“When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy
August 2007 Richard was nominated for a 2008 PUSHCART PRIZE. Richard was awarded 2007 BEST NEW FICTION at CST for his first three novels and also 2006 WRITER OF THE YEAR @thewritingforum.net … Richard has been a featured Poet on Poetry Life and Times Aug/Sept 2008, Jan 2013, Aug 2013, and Oct 2013 and has been published in varied anthologies, compendiums, and e-zines. Richard’s literary work is currently in over 35,000 data bases and outlets. Richard’s novels include: A Monumental Journey… In Search of the First Tribe… The Underground River… Beyond Understanding. A new novel, Between the Cracks, was completed March 2014 and will be available summer 2014.
Richard has been privileged to travel extensively throughout the USA, the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in Canada, the Yukon Territories, Kodiak Island, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Petersburg, Glacier Bay, in Alaska, the Azorean Archipelagoes, and throughout Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Holland… Richard and his wife, Michele, have been avid adventurers and, when time permits, still enjoy exploring the Laguna Mountains, the Cuyamaca Mountains, the High Deserts in Southern California, the Eastern Sierra’s, the Dixie National Forest, the Northern California and Southern Oregon coastlines, and the “Four Corners” region of the United States.
Richard designed, constructed, and operated a MIDI Digital Recording Studio – TAYLOR and GRACE – from 1995 – 2002. For seven years he diligently fulfilled his own musical visions and those of others. Richard personally composed, and multi-track recorded, over 500 compositions during this time and has two completed CD’s to his personal credit: WHAT LOVE HAS DONE and THE PATH. Both albums were mixed and mastered by Steve Wetherbee, founder of Golden Track Studios in San Diego, California.
Richard retired from music after performing professionally for fifteen years and seven years of recording studio explorations. He works, now, at one of San Diego’s premier historical sites, as a Superintendent. Richard is also a carpenter and a collector of classic books, and books long out of print.
To John Dillinger and hope he is still alive.
Thanksgiving Day November 28 1986
Thanks for the wild turkey and
the passenger pigeons, destined
to be shat out through wholesome
Thanks for a continent to despoil
Thanks for Indians to provide a
modicum of challenge and
Thanks for vast herds of bison to
kill and skin leaving the
carcasses to rot.
Thanks for bounties on wolves
Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.
Thanks for the KKK.
For nigger-killin’ lawmen,
feelin’ their notches.
For decent church-goin’ women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
Thanks for “Kill a Queer for
Thanks for laboratory AIDS.
Thanks for Prohibition and the
war against drugs.
Thanks for a country where
nobody’s allowed to mind their
Thanks for a nation of finks.
Yes, thanks for all the
memories– all right let’s see
You always were a headache and
you always were a bore.
After Dylan on the Ninth Wave.*
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age – Dylan Thomas (1914-53)
Worm’s Head on Rhossili beach’s
Crags that jut in the eye’s squint.
A bellying belly capped by a pixie cone
In a turn around bay, on a turn around tide.
Long levelled backwater mud banks
Bogged to the edge of another shore
Down dusk grey fallen sky
Misted on slow dark billowy waters
Slip to the rippling sand’s brink
Break with a sigh from the far horizon’s
Foggy veil’s sheeting light
That winks in the blink of a squint
As clouds rush down, head on.
Whilst the man on the hill
Beach up from the dune in heather, fern
Cliff path & bleats of rolling flocked wool
Wanders side on against Gods & Goddesses.
The might on high of ancient deities at play
In their buffoonery with the day
As they rollicked & frolicked
Harangued & battled for naught
Other than gainsay for the man on hill.
To push him & pull him, hither & thither
As his shadow swelled & swathed him
Down under into the rock below
Whilst they in their lightning & terrible frightening
Also would fall from their lofty citadel
Although immune from his suffering
To rage, rage against the dying of the light
To like him in their burial.
Worm’s Head on the Gower Peninsular was a well known haunt of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, also known for his prodigious drinking bouts from which he sadly died at the age of 39 in a New York bar. It is recorded he was once stranded on the Worm’s Head when cut off by the incoming tide from the mainland. Origins of the name Dylan in pagan mythology can be found in the Mabinogion, where he is described as the Son of the Wave, a Sea God born of the Goddess Arianrhod. Robert Graves in the White Goddess describes the mythological source of Dylan, as the Divine Child born on the Ninth Wave and sometimes ancient graphics depict a naked man caught by fishermen in a net are held to refer to Dylan. Its etymology variously ascribes the root as ‘The wave that floods’, ‘The flood that recedes’ and ‘The tide that returns’.
Lines in italics from Dylan Thomas’s Birthday Poem at Laugharne Bay & Do not go gentle into that good night.’
Poetry Life & Times
Water Melons Green Budhas On the fruit stand We eat the smile And spit out the teeth. What’s your response, profoundly complex, profoundly simple, absurd, childlike, whatever, it’s one of the Poetry Videos of poet Charles Simic we feature here at Artvilla.
The title, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks. refers a book of literary criticism and theory together with his own poetry works. In part of it he discusses the relationship of time, space and form in the context of the written word. Perhaps a little dated by today’s standard of cosmological enquirey, as broadly, it seems to me, to refer to conventional Externalism. It comes however highly recommended by this much acclaimed Yugoslavian poet resident in the USA since 1953.
Here at Artvilla, you can find, Poetry Videos of his works in their originals as well as translations, together with personal appearances, readings by himself and other readers, appearances at different venues such as the Robert Lowell Lectures introduced by Robert Pinsky, or reading in English together with Spanish speaking poets Kadri Vaquero and Edgardo Nunez Cabellero. So please enjoy. Editor Artvilla. Robin Ouzman Hislop