Open Mike Poet

This was written in June 2005, but I thought it needed an airing out.

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Image by AndYaDontStop via Flickr

By the paper, the poetry open mike night was supposed
to begin at eight, and I showed up at 8:40 as a
measure of aloofness and due to the fact that I was
editing what I’d been inspired to write until I
noticed the sun had set. As it was, the hostess Emily
didn’t show up until after nine and we started some
time after.

It’s been awhile since I’ve gone to anything like
this. I used to do it quite a lot when I was in LA and
there was a new scene on every corner. But I suppose
the comfort of home brings a sense of complacency
sometimes and I don’t get out as often as I should.

So I spent the last two dollars in my pocket on the
beverage of the evening and jacked myself up on a
twenty ounce jolt of Brooklyn Beans liquid caffeine
while I waited and experienced the room around me. I
listened fleetingly to the conversations within
earshot, breathed in the ambiance of Big E’s, and
checked the Planet to assure that the event was indeed
occurring.

I’d read an article in the paper on Porch magazine the
Thursday before, mistakenly reading that the reading
was on that night. So I really hoped that I didn’t
make the same mistake twice. But the coffee slinger
assured me that Emily was just running late so I just
sipped my beverage and talked to the young guy who was
first to perform for awhile. He just finished at UF
and is moving to Chicago to take part in a performing
arts conservatory, and after his very impressive
songs, I made sure to give him an eye when I described
my piece as a sort of commencement address.

I wrote it this afternoon while trying to take a break
from the screenplay I have way too long avoided.
That’s one of the beautiful things about a rainy
Saturday afternoon in Florida. We are far too addicted
to the sun to leave the home without it and so our
days are spent attending to whatever is locked in the
house with us. And so here it went…

“This is my at-one-ment with the Universe, including
all that She provides for me. And I call her a She
because She is the Bounty of all Being. God remains as
the masculine and serves as the Provider of and for
Her offspring. And thus They Create One Another. As
the Bible says Eve was made of the rib from Adam. So
the Universe is created from the piece of Him that is
nearest and dearest to His Heart.

I assume by many I will be called a New Age thinker,
and I don’t dispute that indeed I am. At the rate the
world is moving right now, 2005 is definitely a newer
age than 2004. And indeed June a newer age than May.
If an age does not become new, it is because it the
Being has ceased to grow. And Life decays from
stagnancy.

Yet from whichever age I have come, be it the Age of
Buddha, the Age of Christ, the Age of Mohammed, the
Age of Slavery, or the Age of Darkness, This Age is
New.

The stories on which we are raised are many and rich.
From whatever culture we are spawned, the legends
portray, not only the ideal of our Being, but of the
journey We take to Become. The images are vast and
playful, signs and symbols that can barely begin to
describe the wonder of the actual Experience.

To Breathe through Life. To Sense. To Feel. To Touch.
To Hold, to Love, and To Let Go. To forget that any
story has ever been told and the Present Moment is the
Climax of the only Story that Matters. Here. Now.

As Aristotlean Wisdom proclaims, every story has a
beginning, middle, and end, each character a trial,
sacrifice, and victory. For we are All the Big Picture
of our Legends. We are the culmination of our
Collective Culture.

For in Each of Us is the Spirit of Whomever has
brought us to Spawn. And we face this World, these
situations, these libations, these intoxications, and
find such interesting things from these people in this
funhouse mirror that is called Life. For in Every Face
we see, there is the same Spirit, in a Different
Story, from a Different Culture. By a Different Name.
In a Different Game.

In each of these People who mirror our Souls, there is
a Map sketched into their eyes, of the Journey that
has brought them to the Treasure of Now. And in the
right light, Your Map looks just like Mine. The raging
battleplaces of Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, Love
and Hate, Faith and Folly, and the War to tell the
Difference. And in each and every Story, each and
every facet of Reality, in each of our own
Perceptions, We are the Hero our People have been
waiting for.

It is our trial, our sacrifice, our victory. For in
each of us there is the Spirit that my culture calls
the Christ. And upon the Realization of our Heroism,
we first accept our Call with the two words ‘I Am.’ I
Am the Change I long to see in the World. I Am the
vessel through which My God Serves. I Am That I Am.

And to clothe ourselves in the armor we will need for
our epic battle of deciding which I Am we really are,
if we choose for our Story to Believe in this
God-breathed Example of Service and Compassion, and
tell it through the Three Acts of Faith, Hope, and
Love, then our Story will Become as Legend.

But before We set off on our Quest for Reward, we take
a Moment to Be Still and Know that I Am God, we are
blessed to receive two of the Greatest Gifts from the
Parents of our Creation. Time and Choice. This New
Age. This Moment of Stillness, of Silence, as our
Mother holds us in her bosom and the rhythm of our
Hearts blend with the Heart Beat of the Universe. With
the Faith of a Child we Know that we can always Choose
Peace.

Our Breath joins our Beat, adding melody to the
Musical Score of Life. Our Words, Our Songs, Our
Laughs, and Our Cries as Instruments to celebrate Our
Return, our Resurrection as a New Creature.

The Credits from the Previous Feature have come to an
end. And as we begin to tell the Story of our New Age,
we begin at Act One, in touch with the Rhythm from
whence we have come. As We go to face our Own
Adventures, I wish you well on your Way, and Time if
you Stay.”

It was kind of funny, when I read it to the applause
of downpour on the back porch and imagined performing
it in my mind, I envisioned a still and quiet room as
I talked about the Heart Beat of the Universe. But as
God’s humor would have it, that was when five or so
people decided to come and go through the door beside
me. I just smiled through most of the rest of it at
how the Universal Heart Beat is rarely what we think
it will be, but oh, how Joyous is the Rhythm.

There were a few other poets who sat and read. This
one kid gave a real head down, droop shouldered,
mumbled reading of words that echoed of truth, but
lacked in focus as they’d careened through a post
adolescent mind still seeking reincarnation to
adulthood. But I marveled at the size of his journal,
and how even from twenty feet away, I could tell that
the small print he used bled all the way to the edge
of the paper.

I so much admired the vigor of youth that I readily
went home and began to let my ink bleed, and began my
own reincarnation.

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