|Ward Kelley |
I must admit I'm enamored with the montage created between a poem based on an
historical personage and the bio at the bottom of the poem. The Israeli
Ezine, Ariga, has termed my efforts 'bio poems.' In "Wedded in Belief," I
take interest in the passing of the gods. "Betrayed by the Very Soul"
concerns a rebirth. And, "Sexuality of the Dead," examines different types
As for me, I'm a 49 year old business executive with 3,600 people in the
division reporting to me. I only mention this because in a sense the daimon
that propels my occupation also propels my poetry. For instance, Gertrude
Stein once said, "If Mr. Robert Frost is at all good as a poet, it is because
he is a farmer -- really in his mind a farmer, I mean."
Am I a businessman who writes poetry, or a very minor poet successful at
business? Who knows? But my daimon propelled me into such a good financial
position that I could now quit my business dealings and comfortably write
poetry the rest of my life . . . yet I am afraid to quit for fear my daimon
will leave me, or my greed will taunt me for decades.
Formerly I managed distribution centers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California,
Arizona and Illinois. My wife and I now live outside of Indianapolis and are
currently toiling with much determination on our second crop of children,
having adopted four wonderful girls and fostered several others.
Fairly new to publishing my efforts -- this most challenging of all endeavors
-- I have still been fortunate to enjoy some initial successes, and have
published 608 pieces since late '96. Please see the attached list of
credits. Current successes are: being nominated for the 1999 Pushcart;
completing an interview with Israeli poet Elisha Porat (1996 winner of the
Prime Minister Prize for Literature) which was accepted by ACM, Another
Chicago Magazine; being accepted by Rattle, Sunstone, Spillway, Porcupine
Literary Magazine; the Ezines Pif, 2River View, Artvilla, Oblique and
Offcourse; and by print magazines Potpourri and Skylark. Lastly, I was
selected as the Featured Poet by the Ezines: Seeker, England's Poetry Life &
Times, and Canada's Pyrowords.
Wedded in Belief
This worship of one god --
the sun -- has ruined me.
I fear my ruin in my ceremony,
I fear my ruin in my dining . . .
I see it in the flesh of my wife,
and I feel it in the explosions
of my concubines: centered
within all my pleasures,
within all, is my ruin, a daimon
at the core of me who turns
and turns and pushes for the one
religion of the one god, pushes,
pushes, even when it knows
it brings me to my ruin.
Most of all I see it in the faces
of my priests, a baleful eye
as they go through the motions
of worship of myself and my god,
and I fear they smile for the daimon,
smile as if they saw my ruin long,
long ago, long before I myself
became aware of it. So there it is.
My ruin. My push. I see my only
device is to learn how to abandon
the daimon. For the truth: the one god
and myself are wedded in the belief
that even us immortals know we must
one day pass from the days of this earth . . .
only the daimon remains.
Akhenaton (circa 1350 BCE), was also called Amenhotep IV. A pharaoh of
Egypt, and husband of Nefertiti -- whose great beauty is chronicled through
celebrated busts of the period -- Akhenaton was the first known historical
person to establish a cult of monotheism. Seven or eight centuries prior to
the Hebrew prophets, Akhenaton began the religion of Aton, the sun god.
Moving his capital from Thebes to Akhetaton, he fought the powerful priests
of the old polytheistic state religion. After Akhenaton's death, his
son-in-law Tutankhamen returned the capital to Thebes and restored the old
Betrayed by the Very Soul
pounce, it will pounce
and it will fall, it will sidle
and it will stall yet all the while
slide from side to sunny
side, slipping here to there,
out the back, then up the wall,
across the yard and through
the fence, down the alley,
down the gutter, up the sluice,
then rolling, rolling into
the pathways of your heart,
artery here, vein throb there,
pump, pump, breathe in,
breathe out, pump, pump,
then flop the substance
of it all from the dumptruck
that at last became your heart,
dumped into the coal bin of your
very soul, and that was what
the pounce was all about,
you know, the pounce, the little
pounce, it's how you slipped
back inside the breathing,
never intending . . . perhaps
wanting, but never saying so,
perhaps considering, but never
taking a step, an actual step,
then betrayed, or fulfilled,
but mostly betrayed, by your very
soul who always thinks it knows
much more than you.
Sexuality of the Dead
"Our sexuality," the dead ones wish
to enter a topic that I usually avoid
at all costs, "is terribly difficult
to convey to those of you entrapped
in the breathing with all your
malfunctioning fleshy addendum."
I shoo then away -- wispy, giant
mosquitoes -- but they always
flit right back in. "Now listen,
listen, you need the sex to catch
a hint of our own mortality,
but as communication from
breathing one to breathing one
it really is a faulty device."
Who can argue? "But over
on this side of the soul, oozing
around without bodies, the sex
is purely one of communication,
dead one to dead one, and one
does it all the time, time,
all the time . . . until one yearns
too much for imperfect flesh:
so time must then become more
solid for one thus afflicted, so much
they find all the time to be born back."
Two novels, "Divine Murder" and "Keenly Alive, Tony,"
are represented by The Sternig & Byrne Literary Agency
"comedy incarnate," forthcoming on cd rom
by Kedco Studios (Las Vegas, NV)
"histories of souls" forthcoming as an ebook
by Word Wrangler Publishing, Inc.
Of the 608 published pieces, some have found their way into:
ACM, Another Chicago Magazine
The GSU Review
The Listening Eye
The Lucid Stone
Mad Poets Review
The Old Red Kimono
Porcupine Literary Magazine
Sulphur River Review
Lynx: poetry from Bath
The Rose & Thorn
San Francisco Salvo