Tuesday, February 28, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Off the Wall


'I was here',
         don't we all want,
someone to remember---us

'we are trapped in the belly of the machine
and the machine is bleeding'---

'you are loved---smiles'

another side---

'still love you
    always'

'remember that man
in the dressing room
your wife for a bit longer'

everyone is a poet~philosopher~king, chalk
in the whirls as we leave our prints,
at least those willing to pick it up,
to put it down, to let thoughts crawl
from the recesses---recess was fun
once in school, an escape from the desk

it's saturday, sun high and hordes of people
walking by, one man stands, an island, a rock
the flow breaks upon, just watching,

"but i don't understand

what does it mean? what does any of it mean? "

all words blur from where one thought
ends, another begins, and i read the other day that
our attention span is four seconds online, click
its gone if i don't get the hook, and he is about
to walk when, i put my arm around him

"look,
put a gun to this poem
make it sweat
but it won't tell you
what it means

take it home though,
make love and leave it wet
between you thighs
and when you wake up,
you still may have no idea
               but i bet
you can't stop smiling."

his wife blushes, he snorts
and off---they go, art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up,
to put it down, that let it crawl, CrawL
into and out of the recesses---
Recess was fun once...

OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets - our weekly gathering of artistic word slingers, penning poetic zingers, and sharing them on napkins or otherwise...ok so on our webpages, but you really should join us. My good friend Hedgewitch is wo-manning the bar. Gates open at 3 pm EST.

The above picture is from a living piece of art from Charlottesville, VA. A wall where anyone can add anything they want with sidewalk chalk.

123 comments:

Sandi McBride said...

To live in the brain of a poet is a dangerous thing...I'm glad I get to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here...

Sandi

Manicddaily said...

Brian! I am first! A first! It takes my breath away to an extent that I can't write about the poem--

Which shows mind wandering click and also the poem takes my breath away, I"m still holding a gun to its head I think. (You know what a formalist I am.)

A very interesting moment, it reminds me of a poem seller, barterer-passer-outer of poetry leaflets on a sidewalk--trying to change the world one person by one. K.

Manicddaily said...

Agh! I took too long with my comment! Ha!

Heaven said...

"everyone is a poet~philosopher~king"

I would like to think so, at one time or the other. Some are lucky to discover and let the words crawl in their arms or thighs ~

See you later ~

Mary said...

I love these words:

" art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up,
to put it down, that let it crawl, CrawL."

That is the idea I will carry with me all day! Thanks, Brian.

kaykuala said...

Interesting comments! Grafitti on the street walls and bathroom walls can reveal poets and philosophers in their own odd ways! If only there is a thin line separating wit and obscenity, it would be fun!

Hank

Daniel said...

The photo does inspire. Loved your approach today. It kind of set my mind adrift.

DJan said...

What a piece of art this is. I had to laugh at Sandi McBride's comment, but I must say, you do make it a tempting place to visit.

Sandi McBride said...

Mamon wants me to tell you that she really does like you, she does not want you to get the wrong idea!
Caroline
from One Cat Shy of Crazy

Valerie said...

Popping in to say how much I liked today's offering... And popping oit again.

Pat Hatt said...

So very true, everyone has it inside them somewhere
Just somewhere along the way they lost the fun of recess at their lair
Took the antics of a cat to bring it out of me
And start up bush number three
I guess one never does know
Where or when or if it will show

Gloria said...

Yes I think so but somebody are timids or dont have the words (or the rhtyms lol) to say like Grace said, you Brian and Grace are lucky cause you cant say that you have inside, I made sometimes, but Im really timid:)

Gloria said...

Dears of course the I wanna say You and Grace CAN say that you have inside, sorry me

Gloria said...

I always enjoyed here Brian and is nice to say who know if I ll be here tomorrow, nobody know.

hedgewitch said...

Love your point here--in essence, all art is graffiti, taken from inside life, scrawled down on our personal walls, saying--"Look! You don't have to understand, but maybe if you LOOK, you will." Love the imagery in the close--that is an amazingly accurate portrayal of how I feel about the poetry that is really close to me--it connects on that same level--primal and all about life. Loved this one Brian, and can't wait to see what else turns up on the chalk wall at the pub tonight.

Brian Miller said...

hank, i can def be p[rovacative at times...the point in that part is...you cant rush art...you cant put a gun to its head (in 4 sec) and tell it to show you what it is...you have to be intimate with it a bit, which takes time...we def have a short attention span theatre of the mind you know..

sandi, luckily i get to look out the window every once in a while...ha....

shewriting said...

My daughter always writes I was here on our message board at home. Must be a kid thing.

Sheila said...

My daughter always writes I was here on our message board at home. Must be a kid thing.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

4 seconds? Yep that sounds right.

Magpie said...

Well, I definitely get your meaning on this one! Wow. :)

Teri M said...

This makes me think about the rock on the side of the northbound freeway as you drive into our town....people love to sneak out and paint it and it is always changing. Right now it is pink for my friend Angie who is treating breast cancer. :)

CiCi said...

Brian, you touch upon many things in one post and you bring out the best in us as we read closely and intimately the words you send out to be interpreted by each one of us at our different levels of understanding.

darkangelwrites said...

"take it home though,
make love and leave it wet
between you thighs
and when you wake up,
you still may have no idea
but i bet
you can't stop smiling." Oh my! How I love this. Between you and Claudia though, I now have to go take a cold shower. :)

Natasha Head said...

Notice it all...for the love of god, it's the art on the walls that tell our true histories...not the commissioned tombs of the aristocracy. Okay...perhaps a little worked up, but I am one who loves to get dirty, to touch, to feel, to volunteer for full submersion in chalk dust and finger paints...thanks to you, I now remember recess being fun...once ;)

Myrna R. said...

I love this Brian. It made me comfortable with not always understanding what the core message is in the poems I read. Also,comfort in the fact that often no one understands what I really mean(but that's probably because I'm still trying to learn how to express).

I like your idea of art - I will let it crawl.

Liza Ursu said...

this is just awesome.
AWESOME!

Geraldine said...

another power-packed poem Brian. you've summed up so many thoughts and emotions in your tangible words. really enjoyed reading this.

Claudia said...

you know..i really know now what to do with all the poems i don't understand..smiles..and heck yes..it's not about understanding them..it's about feeling them - sometimes the deeper meaning beyond the written word that just comes for milliseconds to the surface and is then gone again..a wonderfully crazy write sir..smiles

Sue said...

I'm just happy to be part of it all.

=)

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Sometimes I think those scribbles are destructive, but sometimes I can see the art and the personality behind it.

Goofball said...

darn your poems take more than 4 secs to read...poof my attention span was gone

kidding, read until the end, sometimes twice as often

Wolfsrosebud said...

... and all the world needs is love?

Lolamouse said...

Loved your poem today. I love spontaneous poetry, wherever it is. I've been meaning to go back and visit Charlottesville (went to grad school there). Now I want to go back even more!

Josh Hoyt said...

Great job!

Daydreamertoo said...

Sometimes graffiti is an art all of itself, isn't it.
Amazing write, I agree, art needs time to be absorbed and maybe even 'felt' and sometimes even then it's not understood but, I loved this write of yours. (How many times can one say it's fabulous, amazing, gifted) I don't know but, this is another all-of-those Brian.

RD said...

"if I told you, I'd have to kill you"
...yet we ask for it every time !

the beauty in words
is found in release, otherwise
they are merely toys in the attic

lonely toys in our attics

thanks, B

Peace ☮

AmyLK said...

Approved graffitti!

Jannie Funster said...

A gun to the poem. I really like that.

Wonderful word weave with just the right amount of mystery.

xo

stu mcp (hate & hope) said...

I could spend ages looking at graffiti. Some people call it vandalism, some of it is i guess, but there si some that could actually be seen as someone baring all for the world to see. I think this piece is a great metaphor for art in general, and not just poetry. Just because something isn't obvious to you- doesn't mean you cant find meaning in it- even if its your own interpretation. Really like the way you've put this across...im not going to start making love to pieces of art though...the galleries might get a bit...annoyed :)

colleen said...

Ah, I mark my territory with my poems, like knock knock jokes waiting to be answered. I think we are all poets, just some more than others and I we only make love to a few.

I always enjoy your poet's point of view.

Laura said...

I've been to this wall... have a photo of a little girl drawing on it somewhere...this is so wonderfully creative Brian...you never cease to amaze me.

Gwen Dubeau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwen Dubeau said...

I really enjoyed this and it does seem there is deeper meaning in the words of others..
Thanks always for your input on my poems as well.

Best wishes!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up,
to put it down, that let it crawl, CrawL
into and out of the recesses---

My favorite part--(she said as she crawled) Great write!

the walking man said...

@ Sandi McBride--I don't think living in a poets brain a dangerous place to be. Of course there is that rampant running rubric of insanity that tinges the edges of the brain but move in a little deeper, take it a little slower and find the place where the poet walks naked and there he is recessed and taking a break from the eyes thoughts.

mrs mediocrity said...

"art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up,
to put it down, that let it crawl"

such truth here...it can't be forced, can't be jailed, can't be ignored...

we all have it in us, some are better at letting it run free than others.

it's too bad that they don't offer recess very often these days...

turtlememoir said...

we have a wall like that here - I am frequently amazed by what I read there... or on other walls or even on pavement (I've been thinking lately of how I could leave snippets of my soul around town... or maybe I'll just start carrying around an assortment of coloured chalk :) - I like your poem very much

Anthony Desmond said...

art is def for the willing.. certainly not for just anyone... most aren't brave enough to let art take over

ayala said...

Love this...take it home though,
make love and leave it wet
between you thighs
and when you wake up,
you still may have no idea
but i bet
you can't stop smiling...

we all want to be heard and to be seen...

Arron Shilling said...

oh man - i dont know why but this is my favourite of yours; maybe the right words on the right day but i think your got this underneath and flipped it...
nice one bri - great work bro

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite line:

"everyone is a poet~philosopher~king, chalk"

... because I like reading more into words based on how the lines are broken, like imagining that you're really implying that everyone is also chalk, that we crumble when we write, that we're fragile yet strong when we produce words with our lives and bodies even though it makes us crumble faster. We're soft and powerful at the same time. Sometimes we just don't know it. We only see one: soft or powerful, rarely both at the same time.

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

amyjosprague said...

Brian, wow this is my favorite poem of yours by far. You have such a unique way of telli g a story, and the quotes/speaking parts are damn brilliant!!!! Way to go!
Amy

Nara Malone said...

I feel like you took a picture of what goes on inside my head. I don't know if I should feel reassured or worried about you.

Loved this recess of words.

Simone said...

You know just how to feed our short attention spans, Brian!

Aaron Kent said...

Never a bad poem with you Brian

Pauline said...

"art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up,
to put it down"

indeed it does. glad you pick it up and put it down for the rest of us to see

Mama Zen said...

I love the way your mind works, Brian!

myowngrowth said...

Love this so much! The imagery is absolutely breathtaking!

"take it home though,
make love and leave it wet
between you thighs
and when you wake up,
you still may have no idea
but i bet
you can't stop smiling." < Made my day haha

Ginny Brannan said...

OMG Brian, amazing
!
"...art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up,
to put it down, that let it crawl, CrawL
into and out of the recesses---"

Love how your mind works. Really like how this poem moves from one point to another too, as if to emphasize the phrase:
"...our attention span is four seconds online, click
its gone"
Excellent piece of writing.

(BTW, comment was "spammed," thanks for the tip!)

Dolly@ Soul Stops said...

Glad you picked up your chalk to write, Brian...yeah, one has to take some time with art...thanks :)

Reena Walkling said...

Love those words 'art lives in the hands of those willing to pick it up ..."

Charles Miller said...

Oh Brian, you don't have me fooled at all. We all are indeed, poet-philosophers, and your ode to them makes their point so well. Poetrynis about action, love, seeing beauty in each passing moment. Yet, it's about wisdom which draws into yourself seeking that source where all truth and beauty have birth. Between a woman's thighs, in a man's arms, we seek what gives meaning to life, just as this poem does for those of us reading it tonight, tomorrow, the next century. Nice write, you know my sweet spot! :)

zongrik said...

but why does the wife blush? must be a cultural thing. ;)

Fred Rutherford said...

Another outstanding write Brian. Really like the tone and flow to this particular piece. it really delivers. Funny too, I just wrote a piece with almost the same words used regarding remembering and US as you started off here- I don't know about you, but this is like the second or third time something like this has happened to me and I love it, I don't know, gives me this connection vibe, regardless how different a piece turns out to be or what not, just the proximity of words used and so forth- gives me a shiver or two-just thought I'd share that, cool piece thanks

PattiKen said...

There is fleetting wisdom on the bathroom walls. I wish I'd written it down before it was scrubbed away.

Janice Trinh said...

I've noticed these writings on the walls too. Some of them are actually pretty good. Makes me wonder why they didn't do something more constructive with their creativity besides vandalize walls...

Timoteo said...

My art began on the public restroom walls of the building where my dad worked when I was six. I wrote bad words and drew naughty pictures. They figured out that it was me because many of those words were misspelled. I got a real talking to from my dad about it. I think that's what motivated me to become an excellent speller in school...winning most of the spelling bees. I think it was important not to get caught again.

Daphne said...

Wow, I really enjoyed this. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what you were focusing on, however I enjoyed the stream-of-consciousness style you utilized. I found this to be very raw and tangible. Excellent!!

David Caruso said...

Interesting that you start with "I was here" and end with recess was fun. Both in the past. School used to begin with roll call. The teacher called your name and you responded, "Here." it's a strong need, the need to proclaim, "I am here." "I was here."

Ed Pilolla said...

recess is fun here, and four seconds is plenty of time:) it's all about the first line. then it's all about the second. then the last. or something like that. art needs a gestation period to produce, of some sort. our expectation of art as we approach it, or read it, certainly steers our response. terrific write.

theborgpoet said...

I wuz here...(good write)

kshawnedgar said...

A good Postmodern collaging, forms a good poem. One that travels from living art to art that lives on.

In other news: "i read the other day that
our attention span is four seconds online" Did it take you longer than four seconds to read the article about our attention span? :) I looked at your poem for longer than four seconds....

Teagan said...

The next time someone says something like "But I just don't get poetry" I believe I'll quote you:

"look,
put a gun to this poem
make it sweat
but it won't tell you
what it means

take it home though,
make love and leave it wet
between you thighs
and when you wake up,
you still may have no idea
but i bet
you can't stop smiling."


That's a gem of a thought.

Elizabeth Young said...

Interesting thoughts about words, poetry, throughout various life experiences. These words remain in our psyche. In our village someone painted on a wall against the backdrop of the Church: Is your God in Vietnam? I didn't understand what this meant as a child, but as an adult have paused to ask myself that same question many times, even though a believer. Messages left are powerful.

Beth Winter said...

I've been on your page for 30 minutes, scrolling to the seemingly unending string of comments so I could tag mine on too.

If everyone is a poet~philosopher~king, how can we ever hope to be unique. Wonderful work, Brian. There is nothing I can say that won't be a repeat of earlier comments. Thank you so much for being you and sharing as beautifully as you always do.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

There is an everyperson quality in this, Brian. I don't know anyone who has not scrawled a drunken message in a bathroom or participated in the lively art of graffiti. Except my husband, who also never smoked a JOINT in his life!! And look who HE married, ha ha.

Art lives in the hands, indeed. One way or another, be it brush, pen, or aerosol can! Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/02/28/sr-elizabeth-and-babylon-400th-post/

G-Man said...

You be a Ramblin Man.....

wayside word garden said...

With our diminishing attention spans, and with so many blogs to read... I've noticed that deeper meanings often get lost in the quick read, it happens to me and by me. :) There is still something about holding a book of words and seeing art on a wall...I enjoy and participate in sharing poetry and art online but at times the truth of it gets lost in the hurry of reading and moving on to the next thing. :)
Thoughtful write!

pandamoniumcat said...

Sometimes it is hard in this quick read environment to get a handle on the meaning...but I believe a good poem gets it's point across because it draws you in...then it lingers in the mind. I kinda like that...I've always hated memorising poems because I like going back anew and finding something different. It's great when poets give poems a revisit on their blogs so they can have new life. I still think recess is fun! ;)

Kim said...

Awesome...what a way with your ideas and words!

C Rose said...

Brilliant word play throughout, loved the tie in of recess to the end as well, its an observant piece, that highlights our oddity as a species in our need to socialization. Wonderful my friend! ~ Rose

Zoe said...

There were some really nice juxtapositions here that flowed well. I have never been tempted to write on walls, but I always am intrigued by the comments you find there. Love how you have drawn this poet/philosopher out. :)

aidz said...

put a gun to this poem

Awesome write as always and what more can I say that hasn't been said , loved that line I may have to steal it and pull the trigger ;)

Joanna Jenkins said...

"...art lives on in the hands of those willing to pick it up..."

So true. this was terrific, Brian.

jj

Wander said...

The wheels in the tidy little recess machine

Recess was fun once
Back in school
You know that school that they went to
Not so fun for me that recess thing
With that recess lady
With her recess whistle and stern shouts
Stop that!
Recess was the place where they lurked
The shining ones
Having the new shoes and well styled looks
With recess lady beguiling personalities
Sharp wit and evil words Heavy hands brutal feet
And willing followers
Oh yesss the followers
The wheels in the tidy little recess machine
Chewing away at the resolve to make it through another day
Recess was fun once…for you maybe
Not so much for me.

Chris McQueeney 2/28/12 10:12 PM
Brian your poem was pointed in another direction, and I liked it very much; especially the last three stanzas. This just started spilling out of my fingertips, long one for me.
Wander

janaki nagaraj said...

Recess...an escape from the dark, a place where we always take refuge...very artistic poem Brian.

Dianne said...

The found art in the dust around us, colored and left for sharing.
Yep.

beckykilsby said...

'bet you can't stop smiling'.. got it in one.

Love the meander into recess and meaning. Still smiling :) :)

Caty said...

Well this kept my Attention deficit happy with the way your ideas flowed down the page...:) Great photo, too!

The ending was my fav
"art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up,
to put it down, that let it crawl, CrawL
into and out of the recesses---
Recess was fun once..."

jackie dick said...

Uh, s'cuse me I was distracted again..hmmmmm...now what did that mean...? Oh, yeah, I feel it now. Taking my time with this one...even if it's grafitti...well that's art of the mind...yeah....Great write Brian! And yes art is all around, if only we'll take a second longer more careful look. Bravo!

marousia said...

Words are alive - great writing

Ravenblack said...

Sometimes it's just scensory overload. Everyone's got something to say and all differently. "what does it all mean?" All the things going by and one needs a break, I remember recess, it did mean just taking a break and was something one looks forward to in the middle of a school day.

Enjoyed this. Sorry to have rambled :)

WINDOWLAD said...

..all these words made me smile and yes, a pleasure to read... i don't easily get a poem in one ride so i made a habit of secretly reading it again again.. until it's clear to me though not perfectly clear.

thanks for the poem.

best regards,

kelvin

adeeyoyo said...

Brian, I like your new look! Love your latest post (it's so true)and your play on thoughts is brilliant. They are hard to pin down sometimes, the way they just flash away before you've been able to grasp them...

Dave King said...

"look,
put a gun to this poem
make it sweat
but it won't tell you
what it means

take it home though,
make love and leave it wet
between you thighs
and when you wake up,
you still may have no idea
but i bet
you can't stop smiling."

So good! And you were right - I can't stop smiling!

adan said...

really like the repeat of the recess motif,

"to let thoughts crawl
from the recesses---recess was fun
once in school, an escape from the desk..."

and how you described the man as an island, the wave of other folk breaking around them, really got a solid sense of his stance there, nice ;-)

then the wife blushing, the guy snorting, and the ending up realizing one is still smiling, and knowing the poem, undecipherable as it was, had its effect

nice ;-) thanks brian!

Steve King said...

chalk in the whirls as we leave our prints,

Ingenious...you do leave a mark upon the page, the eye, the mind, the imagination...Nice

Other Mary said...

That's great Brian. Please leave the gun out though...I'd like less of those.

Anonymous said...

I see everything and no one knows or see me I like like that, beautiful writing as always dear Brian

Lorraine said...

Anonymou is me, don't know what happened lol

Susie Clevenger said...

Yes that poet inside..mine was silent for years. Love how you let your spirit speak with freedom. btw I was a deacon's wife for years. :-)

Marbles in My Pocket said...

I love this style--your style--Brian. It adds punch to the message, and the message is punch-in-the-gut eye-opening. I can still see that guy standing still. Awesome write, my man!

S.M. Abeles said...

Nice job Brian, and thanks for showing the wall, that is so very cool, hadn't seen anything like that. -- SMA

Beachanny said...

You should gather all the comments of your poems together and turn it into a book. That would be novel. I like to see what others have written before me but while my attn span is slightly more than 4 secs..this was more than I had allotted. Just saying this is a good capture of the art thing, found thing, inspired thing, that doesn't come on demand, but fills in those little recesses...
...........you know the ones you were talking about

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Everyone has something to say when you give them a piece of chalk and something to write on. I really love the last stanza of your poem.

Samantha Webb said...

Gosh! I'm slightly dry-mouthed and disorientated from the journey to the bottom of all those wonderful comments! From what I've read of your poetry, it is modern, gutsy, edgy and, this poem is all of these. I imagine you perform what you write? It has that feel to it. Great stuff! Very distinctive!

Laurie Kolp said...

I love this, Brian... especially:

art lives on in the hands
of those willing to pick it up

Heather said...

art does live in the hands willing to pick it up...
that's a cool wall - i need to see that!

rosaria said...

Lord me! Brian, you described poetry in one wet metaphor!

lori said...

Oh, I like this one so very much, too! Hmmm, makes me think...
:)

robkistner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robkistner said...

the "image string" of this piece is engaging and stimulating -- like the inspiration you chose for this work Brian...

Mary Mansfield said...

I love the way the structure of this poem flows, it reflects the random way graffiti usually appears.

I've thought about holding a gun to a poem before, but that was for an entirely different reason ;)

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Excellent thoughts written as art Brian and sometimes we do fail to see what others see.

Thanks for the info re word verification - I shall get rid of it.

Anna :o]

TALON said...

So true about recess, Brian :)

James Rainsford said...

As usual Brian, masterly, accomplished and polished like a gemstone.

Syd said...

Cool photo and cool words. There is a boat that on the way to one of the beaches. It washed up after Hugo and it gets painted with all kinds of graffiti. Interesting.

muzzleflashing.com said...

Great!
I particularly like the last stanza - the idea of picking art up and letting it crawl around...very cool!

Lisa Golden said...

I'm reading this over and over and each time I find something new. It's like a Russian doll in words.

william said...

indeed, friend, it is a difficult place to live, always thinking, always scribbling until you feel the time is right to record, your mind is complicated and is shown in your work :)

joanna said...

i can actually see you putting your arm around him and saying that. *smile* great images.

speaking of seeing you... next friday in the river city? :)

sharmishtha said...

beautiful one brian, everyone truly is a king, poet or anything he deeply believes he is.

ishanon said...

we are trapped in the belly of the machine
and the machine is bleeding...

nice. as burroughs would say "stop the control images!"