One of my favorite professors at Howard University, whom I’m still in touch with, once said that I should never look for poetry in poems: go out into the world and discover something that stimulates you. I try to live by this maxim. The entire week I was in New York, I carried my notebook with me and created a breathing ticker tape. Anything and everything that caught my attention I wrote it down, forcing myself to give it a name. This is the work of a writer, particularly a poet: to give names to things that aren’t obvious.
This is what I wrote my first day as I was staying with my pops who has a place on Far Rockaway Beach:
water running through earth
cemetaries crowded with chipped teeth…
This is what makes writing so interesting to me. How do I name something that is the result of two different worlds colliding?
I asked my Dad to accompany me to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and it was one of the most stimulating museums I’d ever visited. There were about four floors. There was modern art, of course, but also avant-garde experimental work that I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
See for yourself:
Is this art? And what are the standards these days?
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