I became a poet

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I became a poet

Post by revolutionR » October 19th, 2014, 6:23 pm

Little did I know
when I began writing poetry in 1970
and my young life became swept away by the poets
that I read, that I would enter that place where
all hope is cast aside, little did I know what
the rest of my life would become, what I would
have to undergo, what i would see along the way
I simply vaguely recall one day, that I decided
that I would take up the pen, and in turn
the second hand typewriter, and I would make
myself into a poet, I really did not know how long
it would take, or what I would have to make myself do
what nightmares I would have to ride through the dark night
I took my cue from Rimbaud and Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil
A Season in Hell, Baudelaire layed down the foundation

Rimbaud, ah, Rimbaud, invited me to set sail for the unknown
in his drunken boat, I had already taken a cruse on the Crystal
Ship, of Jim Morrison, who really thought of his self as a poet
I had sailed on the H.P. Lovecraft White Ship, through the
psychedelic mist on many poetic trips into the void, on the road
to another time and space, so in 70 when I left home, my parents
apartment in Orange County, and moved up north to Santa Cruz
California, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life
so one day I met a crazy surfer poet from L.A. who showed me

his collection of books of Beat writers and other fellow travelers
in one night of drinking beer and smoking pot I found my calling
from that night on, I became a poet on the streets looking for words
to tell my story, you begin the long slow process of living that life
poetry was not some side thing I picked up in a collage class
it was not a hobby or quaint pass time, it literally became my life

my life became poetry, and everything I experienced from that time
became my life through the eyes of the poet who was writing through
me, in those days, there were no computers, there were poetry readings
there were open mics, there were the university snob poets, and the street
weirdo poets, I was the latter, but I know who the U poets were, and they
know who we were, even though they would not admit it, it was a strange

but wild time to be a poet in a town where students and beatnik become
hippie become beatnik poets flourished, or floundered, it was a season
in hell, it was a drunken party after the poetry reading, when the real
poets drank each other under the table, and told their stories in fleeting
images, before they passed out for ever, before the purple cows came home
yes, I lived in a poem, my world was consumed with reading strange
writing, and of course, a poet has to read everything under the moon

"you walk into the room like a camel and you frown" it was Bob Dylan
that first really got my poetic juices flowing, that Gemini of social commentary
put to folk song, who first show us the poetic connection to Biblical verse
and the jingle jangle utterances of the bums who showed us the signs
of the times a changing, of course Bob Zimmerman had taken his musician name
from Dylan Thomas, who was a famous drinker poet from the British isles
who gave his life for the Death Be Not Proud endless shot of whiskey and beer
to fuel his Celtic war torn mental landscape for the rages and ravages
of the blasted bard, what I discovered as I turned myself inside out
and rearranged all my senses, was that the wind of the sea blows cold and hard

that, like Bukowski said, if you cannot sit at a typewriter all day and all night
long, that not bother to be a poet/writer, better to be a car used salesman
or anything else, and if you just want to write some poetry, to put some words
behind your attempts to appear like you have something to say, or know
something about language, and the king's English, then you ought to picture
who you are writing to, how many so-called poets don't even know who
Rimbaud was, even if they maybe read some of his works for a class in school

Here is the rub, everybody that writes poetry begins where they are at
if you think you are clever, because you have studied some classics in a class
then that is what you will sound like, if you don't live what other poets lived
then that is what you will sound like, you cannot fake it, but you will have to
fake it, until something other kicks in, until you spend that night in the drunken
boat, 'stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again' and did you imagine
that that song was just about a musician in Memphis Tennessee? really?

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Re: I became a poet

Post by 68degrees » October 19th, 2014, 7:35 pm

Hard to write an autobiography. Enjoyed reading yours. Saw Dylan two years ago. Man is still relevant.

Here's to ya


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Re: I became a poet

Post by revolutionR » October 19th, 2014, 8:20 pm

Seriously, and that is what I am doing, an autobiography. I have written so much poetry over
the years, so much lost, a lot lost on the internet, I always just kept writing, when I got my first computer back in 99' , I began seeing what was going on with writing on the internet.It has been some kind of journey. After starting a poetry forum on a internet site, called poets of chaos, I finally wrote a poetic novel, or a novel with a lot of poetic stream of consciousness, that was about my life as a teenager in the late sixties. I wanted to write a novel about how I got into poetry in 70'. I wanted to write about Santa Cruz, and what the poetry scene was like in the 70's, and what I experienced. But I ended writing about my teenage days, because that is where it all kicked off.

P.S. The forum was on the site, the site was not called poets of chaos.That site had stored
the stuff on the forums, but then the owner of the site got rid of all the forum stuff. I guess that is also what happened on Litkicks, that other site where I wrote tuns of stuff.

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Re: I became a poet

Post by whoaisme » October 22nd, 2014, 7:55 pm

i remember walking on the board walk in Santa Cruz maybe '97, '98 and thinking how magical this town was.

then i heard a story about some surfers who dropped a tourist's car engine into the ocean off a dock because he wanted to surf on their beach.

(is that a tall tale? or real? i don't know and frankly don't care)

my kinda town.

loved your poem! 8)
"From the sudden invasion of a mind not my own in the world. This I will record. For whom? For m y s e l f, beyond denial and beyond indifference." - Philip Lamantia

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Re: I became a poet

Post by revolutionR » October 22nd, 2014, 10:22 pm

Imagine what Santa Cruz was like in the early 70's, it was wall to wall
surfers, students, hippies, a lot of retired people, and it was cheap.
there were a lot of poets in town then too, Santa Cruz was poet
haven, it happened at the open mic readings, and poets wandered
the streets. It was just after the late 60's and there was a wild
spirit in the air, that carried on from the magic in the air of the
late 60's psychedelic days. There was a coffee house hang out
that after I was there in town also became a drinking establishment
it was in a big old building next to and under the St. George hotel.
People, i mean a lot of students, and street people, would hang out
there all day, drinking coffee and talking about poetry and philosophy.
It was there that my young life as a poet unraveled, I would sit with
a mug of thick black coffee and read books, and carry on conversations.
I lived down by the boardwalk at different times, because that was
the cheapest area to live, so my early poems have a lot to do with
roller coasters and the sea, and the atmosphere of the boardwalk.
Which was my Coney Island of the mind.

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Re: I became a poet

Post by Doreen Peri » November 6th, 2014, 6:43 am

photo i took of the santa cruz boardwalk

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