Monday, January 22, 2007

Visualizing Landscapes

My brother Mark is still on this coast, having walked from California to D.C. last summer with CROSSWALK AMERICA. He spent Christmas here and helped me through my immediate convalescence after surgery, giving me foot massages and tea and all the creature comforts he could think of.

Coexistence, a small literary magazine from Chicago, published his poem "VISUALIZING LANDSCAPES" in its latest issue. The poem has a Walt Whitmanesque feel to it; it's too long to transcribe completely, but I want to give a taste of it. Mark is an authentic American voice, one of the few poets I know who lives as he writes. He also reminds me of William Blake.

He writes in all caps. Coexistance also published his essay on why he does so but that's for another day.

VISUALIZING LANDSCAPES
BY "PERFESSER" MARK CREEK-WATER

I VISUALIZE LANDSCAPES

I VISUALIZE WRITE-ING ABOUT LANDSCAPES -
LANDSCAPES WHICH I HAVE EXPERIENCED WHILE
WALK-ING ACROSS AMERICA FOR MOTHER-EARTH,
AND FOR FATHER-TIME, AND FOR WORLD-PEACE...
I VISUALIZE WRITE-ING EXOTIC-EPIC POEMS,
REALISTIC-LY SURREALISTIC + SURREALISTIC-LY
REALISTIC, BEAUTY-FULL + WONDER-FULL + GLORY-FULL...

I VISUALIZE MY FRIEND + FELLOW POET GALAVANT -
ING BOHEMIAN-LY AROUND PARIS, FRANCE; EVEN
NOW AS I RECKON SUN-SHINE ALREADY SHINES ON
HIM, IN PARIS, FRANCE; WHILE DARKNESS STILL
RULES THIS EARLY-MORNING CALIFORNIA-TIME...
I VISUALIZE INDUSTRIAL-STRENGTH BEAUTY + WONDER + GLORY.

I VISUALIZE VISUALIZE-ING LANDSCAPES-WHOM-I-HAVE-KNOWN
ON-TO THIS-HERE LITTLE PAPER-PAGE,
BUT REALIZE THAT I JUST-SIMPLY CAN'T DO IT:
BECAUSE THE LANDSCAPES THEM-SELVES ARE MORE
BEAUTY-FULL + WONDER-FULL + GLORY-FULL THAN
ANY POSSIBLE VISION OR VISUALIZATION...

I VISUALIZE WALK-ING ACROSS AMERICA, AND THE USA:

I VISUALIZE WALK-ING ACROSS LANDSCAPES SO
BEAUTY-FULL THEY WILL DRIVE ME CRAZY; ME, WHO
DID YEARS-AGO CHOOSE TO NEVER-AGAIN DRIVE A
MOTOR-VEHICLE DRIVED + DRIVEN CRAZY BY
LANDSCAPES - WHO DID-NOT EVEN DRIVE, BUT JUST-
SIMPLY SAT THERE: LANDSCAPES DO-NOT NEED TO
DRIVE: BECAUSE THEY DO-NOT NEED TO GO
ANYWHERE: BECAUSE THEY _ARE_ "WHERE" - WHERE
IT'S ALL HAPPEN-ING... LANDSCAPES ARE
"PLACES" - THE ESSENCE OF "WHERE" - WHERE-EVER
YOU, OR I, OR ANY-BODY GO'S, THERE IS ALWAYS A

BEAUTY-FULL WONDER-FULL GLORY-FULL
LANDSCAPE THERE... LANDSCAPES ARE LIKE SAINTS
+ BUDDAHS: FULLY SELF-CONTAIN'D + SELF-
REALIZED: THEY DO-NOT NEED TO STRIVE TO THRIVE
OR TO STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE OR TO STRESS +
STRAIN TO OVER-COME PAIN, LIKE WE DO;
LANDSCAPES ARE ALWAYS THERE, ETERNAL-LY,
WITHOUT EVER EVEN LIFT-TING A FINGER ...

I VISUALIZE WALK-ING ACROSS THESE LANDSCAPES,
AS I AM NOMAD + I AM MIGHTY + I AM FREE; SO SEE
MEE WALKK...AND HEAR ME ROAR, + SING, + LAUGH,
+ WHISTLE HAPPY TUNES, AS I WALK...

I VISUALIZE WRITE-ING RE THE LANDSCAPES WHERE I
WALK, AS IF I AND THE LANDSCAPES ARE A UNIFY'D
FIELD-OF-THOUGHT.

I VISUALIZE MY THOUGHTS AS LANDSCAPES:
INTERIOR LANDSCAPES, INSIDE MY MIND, IF INDEED I
ACTUALLY HAVE A MIND...

I VISUALIZE THOUGHT IT-SELF AS LANDSCAPES: AS
BOTH INTERIOR + EXTERIOR LANDSCAPES, EVERY-
WHERE, DEMONSTRATE-ING THAT, AS WE SAY, "WE
ARE ALL CONNECTED" ...

I VISUALIZE MYSELF WRITE-ING MORE + MORE +
MORE + MORE WORDS, UNTIL THE WORDS SOUND-
LIKE GIBBERISH - PERHAPS THEY ALREADY DO-
SOUND LIKE GIBBERISHTO YOU ...

I VISUALIZE SOMEBODY SPEAK-ING CHINESE OR
MALAYSIAN OR NIGERIAN OR NAVAJO OR FINNISH,
AND IT SOUNDS LIKE GIBBERISH TO ME, BUT SOUNDS
PERFECT-LY OK TO SOME-BODY WHO UNDERSTANDS
THAT LANGUAGE: AND ALL-OF-US, WHAT-EVER
LANGUAGE WE UNDERSTAND OR FAIL-TO
UNDERSTAND, WE CAN APPRECIATE LANDSCAPES,
RIGHT??

I VISUALIZE MY-SELF WRITE-ING THE GREAT-EST
PROSE-POEM IN THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE - WHICH
WILL-BE SPOKEN-WORDED AT POETRY-READINGS +
PRINTED IN BOOKS, DURING THE NEXT 10,000 YEARS:
WELL, PERHAPS... PERHAPS NOT: BUT HEY- A GUY
CAN STILL VISUALIZE IT, RIGHT??

I VISUALIZE STAND-ING UP + TELL-ING MY HIGH-
SCHOOL ENGLISH-RHETORIC TEACHER "WHAT DO
YOU MEAN I CAN'T WRITE LIKE THIS?? YES, I CAN;
AND I WILL..."

I VISUALIZE THE SUN RISE-ING UP AND KICK-ING THE
DARK-NESS'S BUTT, AS I JUST-NOW LOOK'D UP + DID
SEE THE DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT:

I VISUALIZE EVERY DAY AS A BRAND-NEW DAY,
WHERE ANY-THING IS POSSIBLE.

I VISUALIZE WALK-ING HUNDREDS OF MILES, THRU
RAINS IN FOOT+KNEE+HIP, ACROSS COUNTIES +
STATES, GROW-ING STRONG-ER BONES + JOINTS +
TENDONS + LIGAMENTS + MUSCLES; AS IN DEED I
ALREADY DID...

I VISUALIZE WALK-ING UP TO THE NESA-TOP + THEN
ACROSS THE MESA + THEN DOWN THE OTHER SIDE +
THEN ACROSS THE HARSH DESERT BETWEEN THE
MESA: AS IN DEED I ALREADY DID...FROM THE MESA-TOP
I LOOK TOWARD THE HARSH DESERT DOWN-
BELOW AND VISUALIZE IT AS IF IT MIGHT-BE OCEAN-
WATER, AS I RECKON MANY YEARS AGO, DURING
GEOLOGICAL TIMES, PERHAPS, THE OCEAN DID FLOOD
THIS LAND... IF SO, THEN THE MESAS MIGHT-HAVE
BEEN ISLANDS, SURROUNDED BY SALTY-WATER...

I VISUALIZE WALKING ACROSS AMERICA FOR
MOTHER-EARTH + FOR NUCLEAR-DISARMAMENT, +
FOR HOUSING-NOW (!) + FOR GLOBAL-PEACE, + FOR
FAMILY-SPIRIT + FOR HOLY-WEEK, + FOR BAY-AREA
SHELL-MOUNDS: AS IN DEED I ALREADY DID...

I VISUALIZE WALKING THRU THE COAST-RANGE; + TO
THE BEACH; + ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS; + ACROSS
THE PRAIRIES, AND TO THE OCEAN, WHITE WITH
FOAM; AND I VISUALIZE WALK-ING ON BRAND-NEW
METRO-AREA SUBURBAN SIDEWALKS, AND FINDING
IN A TRASH-DUMPSTER BY A CONVENIENCE-STORE
HUNDREDS OF CHOCOLATE CANDY-BARS, LIKE
HERSHEY-BARS + MILKY-WAY BARS + 3-MUSKETEER
BARS + MORE, LIKE, 6 INCHES DEEP ON THE BOTTOM
OF THE TRASH-DUMPSTER; AS IN DEED I ALREADY
DID...

LANDSCAPES: I WALKED BY MANY LANDSCAPES: SO
DID YOU:
LANDSCAPES ARE, LIKE, EVERY-WHERE, RIGHT??

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