Well, perhaps not but I have you attention, non?
I’ve always been a bit of a closet poet (as I suspect many of you are, yes, you know who you are).
I have read many of the classics with great respect and fallen for the rhythm and rhyme of many a dead poet.
Recently, I stumbled upon the words of Derrick C. Brown.
An American. A Texan, in fact. And very much alive.
He was in Sydney recently and presented a workshop at the Sydney Writers Festival. Off the back of that there was a spoken word performance at the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Surry Hills that I heard about a few days prior. Instead of a usual; “that looks interesting”… busy, busy, forget, busy busy – I went.
And I am so glad that I did as it has set off an internal fire of inspiration that I may not have felt had I just experienced the words on paper or via YouTube clip. And my inner poet may have awoken from slumber.
What I was moved by, was not only the words, which painted wonderful visuals in my mindscape, but by a performance that was brave, authentic, funny and wholly engaging.
His words are modern, direct, romantic and honest.
There really is no hiding of skeletons in poetry I find, which make for the writing and performing of ones’ words a terrifying and exhilarating thing, I should imagine.
I have been reading his poems and prose for the past few days, and each time i’m struck by that feeling of satisfaction and space, when words in a strange but natural combination hit you, right in sweet spot.
And what follows is like a tingle, and then some dazzle, and a then sigh.
And that there, is Inspiration.
Cotton In The Air by Derrick C. Brown
Your polished back is arched like Saint Louis
I can see your fingers pushing into the bricks
when I lift your hair
to smell October drain from your neck.
You are cotton caught in the air
I am unfurling laces in your body.
I move on you like a fleet of ships pushing ice.
I want to break it all.
Your tank top slips down the huh-huh-huh of your shoulder
and I will not strain meaning from this.
I am waltzing a wrecking ball.
I am wading in the dark felt Tijuana paintings of your hair.
I am molting my bed clothes, uncoiling toward Sahara.
All I want to do is hot lust you into dead sweat.
To watch your legs, those bent sickles,
to watch them shake
like poisoned wrens.
I am gnashed and dazzled.
Smother me in the exhausted thrust of your yes…
wet as all exploding Laundromats.
May I be the image you turn to
when you are heaving alone,
burning like Halloween in Detroit?
I am breathing up your legsssspitting at the hiding nightingale.
Drift your breasts into my mouth and I will be that doped up, spinning victrola singing:
La la la la la la.
I want to make love to you while you’re wearing figure skates
until the hardwood floors are toothpicks.
I want to kiss your throat in a dressing room with my hands
bound around the slow song in your voice.
I don’t care if your made that dress,
I will shred it until you look deserted.
You’re as restless as a New Orleans graveyard in the storm
with the coffins boiling up to the surface.
That’s all this writing is.
You across from me and the soup is cooking.
I sit up all night listening to your dental records.
I will teach you of exorcism and screw the hell out of your limbs.
I carry your steam in my mouth.
Daydreaming of the evening of loud struggle.
Call my name—I will cascade like a suicide.
I will fall upon you like a box of flourescent bulbs
dropped from a five-story building.
I will do anything you ask…
unless I have been drinking; then it is opposite day.
I can’t believe you can sleep through all this.
Chunks of brick in your fingernails.
Mortar on your pillow.
A bomb shelter
sketched on your skirt.
It says Safe.