Gary Siegel has studied, well life basically. He has published his poems in Blahh, blaahhh and also blahh- and been recognized by….. well lots of poets who share open mikes with him. You may be surprised to find he includes humor in his work prominently.
Poetry has been a part of his life since 1980 when he met a bunch of Poets in Staten island. He gravitated to their poetry scene though he himself rarely wrote in those days instead making musical contributions at the mike when his turn came up.
These experiences transformed his feeling for poetry, after grade school teachers did their best to ruin it with lifeless recitations of classic poems. A trip to Boulder Colorado and the likes of Alan Ginsberg and William Burroughs fed this new sense of poetry – which surely had lots of life and in Burroughs’s case – quite a bit of biting sarcasm.
He also participated in a Choreopoem collaborating on the musical backdrop a great creative cross artistic experience. Nature is the muse for much of his work as much for its beauty as for what he finds as a consciousness opening experience. He also writes about the lost place humans find themselves sometimes in this world.
Over the last 6 or so years he has been writing steadily, and has also produced the performance troupe – The Poetry Brothel of Kingston – a local chapter of a worldwide performance format – bringing performance poetry into yet another guise one that is loaded with good poetry and a rich nightlife feel. That format is currently undergoing a metamorphosis.
Here’s hoping you find your own, as I find it’s good for your health and I find no reason to stop at just one.
The fuzz of the moss on the log
smiles as it takes in the sun,
shivers as it is in the breeze,
holds water to the wood,
holds sunlight to the land,
grows slowly, ever slowly,
binding a vibration to the world with its being.
“One grey day I came upon this dead tree and something about the day and the weather just brought it home in an immediate way, the reality of impermanence and death I wrote this poem”
It is all around us. It is our fate.
It is in no hurry.
It has a million ways to get to its conclusion.
And its slow march has more certainty than anything else I know.
Youth and newness encourage me to think it isn’t relevant
But of course it is simply having its way with a patient progression.
Old and tired make me feel it is inevitable,
but it may yet be down the road a piece.
A cold windy pre spring dusk sings to me of its essence,
I feel it all around me.
Simply, it is the note that is playing in the wind.
It is the shade of color
made up of all in this landscape put together.
It is a blend that my soul recognizes.
A song arises
A quiet one.
Accompanied by the slithering emergence
of a gut knowing of the certainty of the exit.
like the ticking of a clock
it is that regular
but much less metronomic.
Life, such as it is, proceeds.
Understanding of the end
we can hold it.
Like a Halloween of the Soul
My inner landscape
a place I like to visit
has turned hostile lately.
Everything in there wants to eat me.
Sharp teeth abound
glaring eyes peer from every crevice
determined and menacing.
What ever happened to my safe place within ?!
Took some time with these predatory creatures
that have populated suddenly
my imaginal realm
and sense begins
A background residue
of painful events
occurring it seems
before the personal advent
of the speaking of words
makes now its way
towards the surface.
The waters of these impressions
float in and out of
the ebb and the flow of moods,
sliding as they do
Strange it is then
where ancient anonymous pains
put on a face not theirs
walk within as monsters
and thus become known.
The unerring efficiency
of nature and the mind
and effective ways.
Aldous Huxley from “The Doors of Perception”
In the halls of the air-bound travelers,
Much of what there is, is waiting.
Though encumbered by all manner of baggage’s
these travelers are afforded a generous release
from life’s crowded command of their attention.
The arched glass, polished steel, and finest wooden splendors
of these larger than human dimension palaces
encircle all as they sit in their waiting.
The architects were freed to envision
an environment that mirrors the air-bound cloud gazing wonder
these intrepids are soon to engage with.
Adding space to one’s consciousness
has the potential to free it of the mundane,
to allow it to expand within
these grand structures, and open minutes
to attend to less fragmented pieces
of the whole of a moment
and of a life.
As I glance around this crowded palace of waiting,
I see a density of distractors surpassing any that would occur in one’s home
let alone in a forest.
Like hundreds of bees drawn to the fragrance
of a just bloomed cherry tree
the open attentions of these time enriched travelers
are met with profusions of stimuli and objects of attraction.
That vast possibility of expansion –
at least for some (who might be so inclined)
is quickly swept up in the thousand varieties
of sparkling twinkling temptations and prizes that surround all.
Our net of receptors for what may be is unrefined
it does not say no easily.
We are not a match for the sirens of attraction
and the profundities in principal
are quickly submerged under the weight
of the sparkling next thing.
And thus the expansion is swept away
under a cloud of inconsequential everything.
It does not happen.
Breaking out is hard to do.
There you go:
Sailing out beyond the rocks
I know you don’t want to hit ‘em,
but do you really want to leave em behind?
Slashin along the water, fast,
a little out of control,
speed picking up, can’t really steer,
but you’re fly’ in man.
and that knot in your belly,
it aint there, I’m telling you.
Don’t even mention it.
OK, OK, so you’re saying you fell asleep on that boat?
The moon is up,
the waters softly sliding past your hull
slurging sounds that tell you something you’re not quite ready for.
Like, you’re far man
This could be a problem
it’s dark now and you’re not really so very sure just how far we’re talkin’ are ya.
Now weather is picking up
getting rougher, stormy, and the worry isn’t so much about getting back any more,
nah, it’s more immediate than that boy,
Noah, how long can you tread water…
Faster darker deeper –
… farther away, strange calm.
Strange calm you say,
And that feeling overtakes you,
as you slide effortlessly into that dark water,
leaving behind the only bit of sanity, of expectation for survival you’ve got at this point.
But that water, feels so good – maaannnnn.
Give me more. Give me the smooth cool. The immersive touch.
Now, in the water, everything you hear condenses, – replaced with a different planet of sounds.
Echo-y, bouncy, making you lose your reserve, your caution, listen to that shit!
You’re not stopping now, you’re swimming deep; and towards something down there.
That Opalescence you’re seeing, it stops the mind.
What me worry?!
Is it a giant sleeping clam that’s glowing like this?
What is its intelligence?
Is its whole thing like what we call sleep,
In the dark- in the cold – in the deep.
Awake in slumber
Nah, it’s not a clam.
This is just about you not opening
no way, no matter how hard they, try.
And you know how to do that buddy,
slam it, clam it shut.
Aint nothing getting in there,
you’ve got the strength of a light brigade
not a drop of sweat,
just a few tears that aint comin out.
No one gonna see them
Tears of Desiccation;
Might as well be.
Same for that heart of yours.
It wants to come out,
to mingle, to be hearted with other hearts,
to fulfill its purpose of soothing and merging with and knowing of others.
But it ain’t.
And, you’re not on a boat
You’re not in the water.
But you are.