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This is not a poem more a rant – for a friend – to a friend who when I asked about getting authorizations from poets to use their voice, their words or videos in a montage for the opening of our breakout Session Poetry as a tool for Inquiry at a conference in May in San Francisco said to me ” whatever is fast and cheap”.

What ever is fast and cheap you say…
You are so funny –
this is not a fast thing – to do a video montage of 5 minutes may take me a lifetime as I move from inspiration to inspiration
As I move from the new to the old, from the young to the dead
From the slam poetry finals of one then two then three
As my brain and mind goes in a different direction as I remember the stylings of Shane Koyczan, the named Poet of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and his poem “We are more…
As I travel that highway somewhat reading and listening more to him and
Who in 2007 at Words Aloud- said “this is my voice,there are many like it but this is mine.”
Then I switch the Channel
To watching Harry Baker, World Gram Slam Poetry Champion Harry Baker do his world winning poem Paper People at a Ted X event
Then leaving that to follow Joe lead me into new waters deeper into places of discomfort
Into the world of academics
Into the world of those who call themselves poet and are – poets, writers, teachers, PhD’s, academics who inspire yet grade.
My first stop being
The African Canadian Metis Nova Scotian Poet Laureate of Canada George Elliot Clarke i read through an analysis of his writing style and see how awards he has won and how many books he has published and read his poem, The Emissaries, which was described as what he can do when allowing his understanding of imagery and emotion to create the poem, to become pure poetry, what Robert Frost meant by “poetry” when he called it what could not be translated into a different sound
And from which a stanza reads

a motel sign glares blood-red,

opposite a home of the freshly-dead.

the black body of a Bible,

lynched on the tree of a table,

is motionless as possible,

i would read it if I were able

(if it’s words were not birds of prey in a bomber-sky, olive and grey)

Fast and cheap you say as I go deeper into the caverns of why we write – to say the things that we can’t say aloud or may have always been afraid
Which leads me to remember that you write about why you love your daughter and hate your daughter, and write about things that are unfair
Then get back on track and think about Santiago, a poem on a different planet from me it seems, yet brings me back to
To the First Latino, son of an immigrant farmer, (who Trump intends to send packing), Poet Laureate of USA, Juan Felippe Herrera formerly Poet Laureate of California who invited his Grade 3 teacher, Mrs. Sampson, to his first reading at the US Congress Library because she invited him to the front of the class and sing a song “three blind mice” and told him he had a beautiful voice.
And who said
“When people ask – what is poetry Juan Felippe – It is freedom. That is what it is. That’s what everybody has. And when you use your own voice, your own personal voice, freely, the real you, then we’re all united”
Fast you say and cheap –
As I explore roads and voices that I have never ventured on
When i need to face myself and the voice inside that says – too accomplished, too smart for you – who do you think you are to say that you too are a poet
Fast and cheap you say
As I move from inspiration to inspiration
Wondering how many roads saying yes will lead
As I read about Bombs in Brussels and the death of a 46 year old man who was former Mayor of Toronto who became a laughing stock of the late night talk shows, when it is not so funny now … Because addiction ain’t funny – and l life is short and unfair
Fast cheap and easy not easy – you did not say that
And it is nobody’s fault but my own as I should be applying for a job or preparing for an interview or going to the gym or making my lunch
As I move from inspiration to inspiration
This rant ends now and yet I am sure you can see that when you got me on the phone last year and asked me that silly question – “would you play with me?” that you opened new worlds of language and words that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams

That my words – mine would be published in a Conference for Global book – yet of course it would have to be about Fear Rising which it does for me daily and yet when I read it I see that it is not what defines me
Fast and cheap she says
As I reach and say mine and
As she tosses me the ball
Run with it, go
Over obstacles, invented

Imagined, through mud

So thick and hills steep with rocks jagged cutting my feet into shards

Shall I run lightly

Or move quietly

Or blindly move forward

Like the Titanic

In these dangerous waters
Fast and cheap you say
As I look at my watch and see

3 hours later

Still not 30 seconds on a 5 minute montage.

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