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Not From Around Now (Poetry for a Small Choir)

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it's been a short time
then a long time
still i'm waiting

 “Can You Stay Forever?” is one of the many legs (hopefully the last one) of a journey that began in 1998.   It was then that I decided it was time to write a poetry collection.  My relationship with poetry has always been an off-and-on one.  For months, I would write it daily – then abandon it for a year or two.  Because there is always some other art project I am working on, the temporary separation never seems to be a problem.  And somehow, when an art form feels it is time to use you as its vehicle, it lets you know. 

On a bus ride to work and back, with San Francisco streets outside offering their wealth of contrasts complimenting the contrasts inside my brain (and at other odd times and places throughout the day), the poems willingly manifested themselves.  And a few months later, they became the first edition of “Not From Around Now (Poetry for a Small Choir)”.  The poems refused to reveal in clear terms what exactly they meant.  Some of them offered retrospective interpretations, numerous enough to doubt that there is any specific meaning.  I’d rather not try to understand my own art.  (And interestingly enough, I have written only 2 or 3 poems since.) 

Some time passed, and I began feeling strangely uncomfortable about a book in which most of the space on the pages was empty.  I felt that there must be something else I could add.  And so the decision came: to create an illustrated edition of “Not From Around Now”.  I bought a digital camera and used the photographs as building blocks for collages, which in this new addition accompany each poem.  Ironically, this became a much longer project than the poetry itself.  But by the end of 1999, it was done.  Some of the original photography that went into this second edition is found in my online gallery, Reality

I thought this was where it ends.  But I was wrong. 

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