ab initio

by jhon baker

Been sleeping in too late all this week. unable to shake myself from the bed at a reasonable hour – I don’t know what to blame. My dreams are intense like the greatest movie you’ve ever seen only I’d rather not be watching them. Some people don’t dream, how I envy them at times.
If I knew then what I knew now, how much more I would know now.

on one blog I read nearly daily there was a great question – what is a long poem? I think it was misread by the majority of commentators as  – the long poem –  and also confused by many with the epic poem and the narrative poem but here was my response and I feel like quoting myself today so….

I’ve been referring to my poems as short and long and now reading through these comments I think I ought to start referring to them as short and longer poems. I always viewed the long poem as a relative term in accordance with the normal output of the poet. For example, Gerog Trakl’s poetry never ventures into the type of long that most people are talking about here but his psalm is considered long.
I think to define the long poem as rigidly as having to contain a certain number of lines is a bit incorrect as the term long poem is merely descriptive and not definitive.
Maybe long is when you see a poem and realize it is several pages long or longer and you say to your self – holy fuck do I have time right now?

I probably don’t add much with my comment above but I thought it interesting enough to bring over.

I keep thinking of shaving off my beard but am afraid that my son wouldn’t recognize me and my wife wouldn’t kiss me. mostly lacking the energy to alter it so it grows longer.

I wrote this poem in February when news first came around of F. Castro’s improved health and lately there has been more of him in the news and on the Cuban Television so I thought it apropos.

it seems (prisoners of consciousness)
    for Orlando Zapata and Fidel Castro

F. Castro is 
doing well
it seems
Cuban dissidents are
still dying
in prisons
it seems
R. Castro blames others
for the blood but not
his blood
it seems
all the while we
mostly remain silent
it seems

 – Hoc Scripsi

So, here are my questions. What is the long poem to you? what is Castro to you? what is God to you? what is poetry to you? What is the sun to you? Have you listened to Sparklehorse’s last album yet? What is sleep and dream to you?
write what you want.
where you want.
ode to SAMO.
ode to illogical graffito on bathroom walls.
four letter words written in crayon.
or carved into the paint by those with more time.

 – Me

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2 Comments to “ab initio”

  1. Great bit of writing Jhon…

    I've know several cubans in my life.
    They told me that many folks still on the island are so beat down that they hardly feel it anymore. That's because most were born into it. Others will sacrifice anything to leave. their health care system is so good, that people vacation there to get treatment…
    I know I'm shallow, but I want to go there to take photographs of the old american cars…

  2. -i don't dream..stopped many years ago.
    sleep is a way for me to feel alive.
    -i love Cuban coffee and have smoked a Cuban cigar..tres magnifique..
    -i miss writing in crayons and tracing the lines in a coloring book. perhaps i'll buy a new one…. woody woodpecker perhaps..
    -i get carried away with spray paint and want to paint everything, hence, as a graffiti artist i'm certain i would be in jail..often..

    i have rambled enough..thank you for this.. feel quite light now.

    who's Sparklehorse?

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