Welcome Back My Friends
It begins with a lunge at permanence. It climbs heights of reverence, often at great cost, then proceeds to jump off. It is characterized by a flutter in the gut, a coldness in the spine, a pinprick just before waking. It’s not exactly pretty, and it’s not immediately likeable. It takes time to form, often years. You can read it again and again and each time find something new – a previously invisible nuance, or a turn of phrase that at first seemed pedestrian, but now, within the gestalt of the entire work, only deepens the mystery. It can confound and never reveal itself. It can ring like Friday bells and not satisfy. It will sit unread despite several run-throughs, solo out-loud renditions, and only-to-your-partner readings. It’ll be on your patio in August, under your boots in November, and in your hair in May. It’ll come to you in traffic, and force you into memory lapse. It’s an admission that you don’t have control over that much stuff. It’s one of your hidden tells. A notice that you should do something with those marks, and that you must drink more wine.
The Edmonton Poetry Festival begins tomorrow. That’s Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014. I don’t have to tell you to check the schedule, because I’m sure you’ve already done it. I don’t have to link up our amazing list of authors because you’re a fine person at heart (at least, when it matters to be one), and you’ve done well with many things this year.
I entreat you to make time for words. They are our best invention. Even if poetry isn’t “your thing”, step outside your wheelhouse and choose an event. I will not accept your laments or shoulda-done’s. The chances you take with the things you love are your only currency.