Archive for January, 2010

“My witness is the empty sky,” – Jack Kerouac

I went through a Jack Kerouac phase. Reading him reminded me to create new forms of literature and poetry that felt natural and emerged from my experience.


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Flickr poem

A beautiful poem using user generated photos on Flickr. Click here. It takes about 90 seconds to start; it’s worth the wait.

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“Anybody can memorize lines, … but you have to find the heart in the character for it to really come out to the audience.”-  Sarah Jones

I saw Sarah perform about six years ago. Everyone in the room was captivated by her energy. Even if you’re not a fan of spoken word poetry, turn up your volume and give this one a try.

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I love Rushdie’s ability to bring the past into the present beautifully, the nuances of his language and his ability to create modern myth. One of my best friends said of Rushdie, “he’s the guy I want to learn from and the guy I want to kick it with.” I completely agree.

My favorite quote comes from his novel Midnight’s Children, “To understand one life you must swallow the world.”

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Now the memory of you comes aching in

With a wash of broken bits which never left port

In which once we planned voyages,

They come knocking like hearts asking:

What departures on this tide?” – W.S. Merwin [link]

Recently I worked with the Copper Canyon Poetry Press. One of their poets, W.S. Merlin writing is remarkable. If you haven’t met him, I’d like to introduce you. Here’s just a taste:

Watch on PBS

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Colson Whitehead rocks my world. This man writes, and speaks, with remarkable cadence. He is both a poet and a novelist. I admire his ability to tell a story about an object, a street corner, a couple in love in such a way that makes you want to hold the object, visit the street corner and invite that couple over for dinner.

If you like the lecture, here’s more: “You start building a private New York when you first lay eyes on it…” (Link)

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One of the most inspirational speeches I’ve watched; it’s relevant not just for graduation but also for all the moments in which life guidance matters.

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life,” – Steve Jobs

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