Facebook: the tales behind the verses…

As of January 2011, the stories explaining the inspiration behind the poetry are being posted on Facebook on a page entitled “the harmony of rhythm”…just go to the page and click on “notes” to read this test project…..

What was “thor’s blog”…brief as it was…remains below:

September 16, 2009

 To my surprise, some of the greatest inspirations the poetry on this site came from dancing.  They range from observations of the dance itself, like “a savage peace”, to lessons learned from partners, like “the dancer” (each of these poems are posted in the “dancing” category).  But my two favorite ‘dance’ verses come from very special moments where the girl was everything to the inspiration.

 The poem “I remember Otis Redding” (posted in “my diary”) is at the top this list.  I was hopelessly in love with the girl who inspired it.  We were both exhausted after a long day and back at my studio apartment when she popped in a cassette tape of “Dirty Dancing”.  The song “These Arms of Mine” began to play and we danced, as she fell into my arms.  I had never before known a feeling like that; to be so overwhelmed by the presence of another person let alone have them tearfully express the same emotions.  Nothing in this life is its equal.  My only regret is that the verse – limited by the constraints of language and my skill – cannot do the moment justice.

 Contrast that with “phantom girl” (posted in “dancing”) where I was merely trying to write a tribute to the poet William Wordsworth.  Wordworth’s “She was a Phantom of Delight” described his initial impression of an angelic beauty and his continued fascination as he grew to love her.  I wanted to mirror the sentiment but the words just weren’t there.  Then, at social event, I danced with a girl who had that unique ‘angelic’ look.  To me, she appeared as if God had pulled her off the assembly line in Heaven so He could paint her face himself.  I simply wrote the image as I saw it; the perfect angel, at the perfect moment, providing the perfect inspiration.

September 12, 2009

 This is an experiment in true dementia: a blog within a blog designed to memorialize the thought process behind the creation of poetry.  I can’t imagine how this page will do anything but frustrate the author and the (potential) audience.  Yet, here I am writing it.

 The idea sort of forced itself on me earlier this week when I posted “upon his execution” (posted in “blindfolded ladies”) a poem inspired by the recent execution of John Marek who had been convicted of a brutal rape and murder over 20 years ago.  When I first sent the poem to friends, I wrote a ‘back story’ explaining why the execution had such an impact on me.  I received a lot of heartfelt responses to that verse and I think the ‘back story’ had a big impact on the readers.

 At the point, it dawned on me that there was only one poem on this site, “for Sophia”, in which any mention is made of inspiration.  I owe a lot to the incredible people and circumstances that have helped me start on this poetic journey if for no other reason then I have enjoyed the experience.

 So, this page will be dedicated to honoring inspiration – past, present, and future – and will give me something to write about while I deal with my continuing bouts of writer’s block.  I’ll try to be as honest as I can (while protecting the identities of the truly innocent) and cover as much of the material as time permits.   

 For today, here’s the rest of the story concerning “upon his execution”…

 On August 19, 2009, the State of Florida executed John Marek for a brutal rape and murder committed over 20 years earlier.  A few years after he was convicted, I went to work as a prosecutor for the Office that had handled Marek’s case.  On the day of the execution, I was in court defending my Office’s right to seek the ultimate penalty in another horrific homicide.  Meanwhile, colleagues of mine were following the last-minute litigation which continued in the U.S. Supreme Court until moments before the scheduled execution.

 It was a surreal experience.

It made me question many things including, obviously, the validity of the death penalty itself.  When I first started poem, I was so angry my first draft began “good night and good riddance you monster”.  I also called Marek a “killer” and a “creature” in various verses.  But the more I thought about it, the more difficult I found the whole process despite my belief in the system.  I wanted the poem to be less judgmental and focus on the loss – to everyone – including society.  There is nothing good in this beyond the intent, misguided or not, to make the world a safer place.


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