It was wonderful seeing John and Roberta Olson, Willie Smith, Denis Mair, Phoebe Bosche, Trudy Mercer, Bart Baxter, Elliott Bronstein and other writers from the Red Sky Poetry Theater days at events featuring Stephen Thomas this past weekend. (An interview with Stephen will be forthcoming on the Cascadian Prophets podcast.) I got this from John Olson the day after the last party for Stephen in Shoreline:
I also want to tell you I think The Song of Casa del Colibri is brilliant. The language is alert, probing, inquisitive, and open to everything namable and unnamable. Tonight it inspired me to write this:
More and more language seems to me a kind of echolocation, not for the darkness bats inhabit, but the cognitive darkness humans inhabit. Even if the words are written down in quiet with no sound attached at all they rebound from hidden realities, or increase the insistence of things on our consciousness, radiant knots and luminous details. I don’t know what goes on neurologically, but having a medium like language between our experience of the world and our thoughts on the world can lead to some very strange distortions. They play the mind into a restless probing of what is real and what is simulacrum. Ping, ping, ping. Looking. Always looking. “As if there is a ‘god’ outside of / the inside of my skull.” And “the poem waits / for us to discover the larger mind at play.” Paul Nelson, The Day Song of Casa del Colibri. And it does have a point, however pointless it may seem, it will puncture the air and drop its candy like a burst pinata.
High praise from one of the most erudite poets I’ve ever met. It made me wonder about my own work with the Day Song ritual and I realize that I’ve never announced that I have released a second Day Song chapbook, this one with a brilliant cover created by Gautham Acharya. The chapbook is called: Another Day Song (1980) and is based on similar long poems by Ed Sanders (1968) and Brenda Hillman (1967.) I chose the year 1980 to write about, as I was 18 for most of that year and it was the dawn of neoliberalism, though I would not have been able to identify it that clearly back then. Copies are $10 + shipping. Thank you John Olson and all who endeavor to seek the depth of the work I do and all those who seek to create alternatives to neoliberalism and foster people-centric projects and policies.