Thursday, April 27, 2017

touched with fire [2015]

i've been feeling damn uninspired lately.  no real reason.  haven't written much.  the last poem i wrote, last month [and i'm normally writing a poem a day sort of dude], was a disappointing entry in a series of poems i started several months ago starring a character i call 'the projectionist'.  i dunno.  the legendary mimeo era poet douglas blazek said in an interview with richard robert hansen, robert roden and me many years ago, that when he was deep in poetry publishing blazek asked himself, is that all there is?

sure, that is all there is.  but poetry is not a career.  at least not in the usual way we conceive a career.  poetry is a way of life.  so but then anyway, i've been wondering, like blazek did, is if that is all there is.  i don't doubt the power of poetry as a guiding force in my life.  i don't doubt poetry as a way of life, in and of my life.  i dunno what i mean. . .

at any rate, i have not stopped reading poems.  and falling in love with poets.  i simply have not pulled out my notebook and scribbled away.

so there is this flick.  it is poetry month.  but for those of us who choose a life of poetry every month is poetry month.  every day too, as well as every hour of every day.  but in honor of april i wanted to watch at least one movie about poets/poetry and found this one on amazon streaming.

what can i say about this little indie film.  it stars katie holmes and luke kirby as two young bi-polar poets who meet in the hospital and in the midst of their mania embark on a destructive, yet poetically fruitful, love affair.  i admit that i started this flick early in the month and got about 15 minutes into it before turning it off.  i didn't want to invest my time in a romantic's notion of the crazy, genius artist which is where this movie seemed to be leading me.

and yet, i returned to this flick last weekend and stuck thru it.  this film is not an edifying cinematic experience of mental illness and creativity.  that is such a cliche.  but cliches are usually built upon some fact and/or truth.  the title of this movie is lifted from a book by kay jamison, who makes an appearance as counsel to our couple when the couple are struggling to take medication to control their illness, that examines artists and mental illness.  and as a sufferer myself i appreciate filmmaker paul dalio's unromantic portrait of illness and the triumphs and terrors of suffering.

so when we reach the end of the film we are exhausted by the journey our two young poets undertook.  it ends neither good nor bad for them but i did find holmes' character a deeper and richer person for the experience.

but as for me, i'm still listless and uninspired.  as i said earlier, no big whoop.  either i write or i don't.  and if i don't write another poem the universe won't miss it.  perhaps i can change my attitude and think of myself in a fallow period.  that too is part of poetry as a way of life.  but i've learned in my half century on this clam shell is not to rush the writing, and that the world of 10000 things is still a life in poetry.  



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