By ‘Holy Poetry’ I mean both ‘Holy Poetry, Batman!’ and ‘Sacred/Spiritual/Wholly Poetry’. I am becoming more and more deeply involved in poetry and spoken word poetry. I have decided to put aside my half-finished short stories and barely-begun novels and focus on poetry. This is partly because I have to focus on something otherwise I will feel too thinly stretched and not write anything. This is partly because a poet friend suggested I write more poetry. And, this is partly because I love poetry. Last week was the first round of semi-finals for Tonight It’s Poetry and, holy poetry, Batman, all the poets brought their A games! It was an amazing evening of words and word play. Even though I am ‘competing’ against all those folks I could not feel upset or threatened by their performances, just awe. When first told that I had made it to semis I actually thought I might not compete – I mean, all the other poets are soooo much better than me. Then I thought, “Hell, why not, it’ll be good experience.” Then I saw the list of poets in semis and thought, “Well, at least I’m not actually trying to win.” Now I am determined to bring my A game, not to try to make it to finals, but simply to not stink up the joint! I want to know that I did my best for myself and for my fellow poets. These people have become a real community for me. Listening to all those beautiful, painful, glorious, transcending words on Sunday evenings has become my communion. It is a holy thing to share another person’s experience. Through their words all the people who get up on stage hold a piece of their heart, their soul out to be examined. Sometimes this is uncomfortable, sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is thought-provoking, sometimes it is uplifting. And, always it is holy and sacred. Yes, it is art. Yes, it is sometimes the poet’s livelihood. It is not set out as a spiritual or religious thing. But when I am moved to tears by someone’s words, when I am deeply touched by someone’s experience, when I feel connected on a spiritual level with a poet’s performance I know this is holy poetry.
Be Lovely to Each Other,