Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Grazed by a flying Falcon

Fantastic encounter I had yesterday in Prospect Park.  I was taking a short break from rehearsals and making a video of the tiny birds flittering around and gleaning grains from the grass when a surprise swooped into the frame.  I have only been this close to a flying falcon one other time in my life at Lafayette Park in San Francisco in 2002, but this time, I have it one video.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Great Audiences

To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too.
- Walt Whitman

Yesterday, I had one of the most wondrous experiences of my life. Someone approached me while I was sitting in the park and the first statement this person made was asking a simple question, "Would you read me a poem?" I could have wept. I could only say, "I will read you poetry until you ask me to stop."

Photo by Jerry James
From thereon ensued a wonderful conversation where the reading of a number of poems was interspersed with some of the most engaging and exciting conversation. We spanned topics ranging from ponderous issues of cognitive theory to the gems of the most simple considerations.

I have been enjoying a particular number of wonderful exchanges with people lately. The other day I had a fascinating conversation with two young students in mathematics. - I still hold the position that if a person really wants to be a member of the avant-garde, they should study math, because people in that field are so ahead of the curve most of the world doesn't even know they exist. There is no doubt that people in the field of mathematics are in the forefront of broadening the intellectual and imaginative horizons of humanity and I have made note to a number of people that the some of the ideas of French mathematician Everiste Galois on the symmetry of polynomials served as an important inspiration for one of the most important angles of many of the syntactical formulations in my poem Martha.

As a parting comment, I told them both that I will look for them in the years to come as recipients of the most distinguished Fields Medal. One of the students modestly dismissed this and said that his friend would probably win the medal but he doubted that he would. I told him that there is no question that he is capable of winning the medal. I told him, "That potential is within us all. Never deny yourself your potential for greatness."

Monday, June 23, 2014

For the Last Romantic

My favorite labyrinth, the Seed Labyrinth by Sara Jones

There are some who believe poems are writ
from the sophisticated theories we invent
as if inspiration was the conscript
of a very specific determinant
that was made with formulas and instruments
so that the unexpected was from intent
and surprise was merely mismanagement
from a factory of ambiguousness.

Then reading your verse earlier today,
listening to the words and all they say,
I began to float on the music they made
from the melodies in every phrase
along the correspondence you arranged
with the chords inlaid and delicately played
and carried by a cadence sustained
by the beat of your heart upon the page.

Poems are not contrived from designs,
they are released from within, deep inside,
and the deeper one’s concentration dives
the higher one’s inspiration flies,
making brazen leaps to span the divides
in the endless potential of our lives
from the wonder of a child’s awakening mind
to the timeless kindness in a grandmother’s eyes.

Garrett Buhl Robinson

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Literature and Life

Mt. Hood, over a sea of clouds
At a local bookstore, in your neighborhood,
nestled in the comforts of your familiar town
an author was visiting to sign the book
Literature and Life, for a modest crowd.
The night moved courteously as it should
but unexpectedly an uproar was aroused
as the people demanded with scowling spite,
“We see the phrases on the pages bound,
and the table of contents’ proper nouns.
We see the literature but where is the life?”

The author said, “These words are dead until they’re read.
You, the audience, are the life. May these
words awaken the wings of your mind
and lift your thoughts into heavenly skies.”

Garrett Buhl Robinson

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The City of Inspiration

Sometimes I feel this
     mystifying town
is built more from the sky
     than from the ground.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

For Marianne Moore

The New York Public Library
Ms. Moore, I have read your work from place to
place, hunkering over the pages to savor
the way your nimble feet tip toe across
the page with every step as light as it is sure.
The poems are a guiding line of lanterns
extending through passages of detailed grandeur
where the protean shapes that you portray
are a lively menagerie, not exhibiting
human qualities, but revealing virtues
essentially and effortlessly natural.
And now for the first time in my life
I am reading your poetry in Brooklyn
to find the greatest paradox you ever penned
is your numerous versions of perfection.

Garrett Buhl Robinson
June 9, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Communing with the Ancients

Communing with the Ancients

Through a solitary stretch sketched
upon a parchment surface,

hatched from the brooding memories
of isolations and interactions,

meticulously formulated
into ponderously balanced phrases

carried about clasped to the breast,
surviving rebuke and neglect,

hollered from resounding mountains
and sipped with tender attention

through intimate statements
and broadening relations

while retaining rapturous meaning
through transcriptions and translations,

through the extending lengths of space and time
the reach of poets have touched my life.

Garrett Buhl Robinson

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mirth and Melodious Poetry

Photo by Jeremiah Hull
I have become such a fixture in front of the library a photographer decided to use me in one of his shoots.

The other day I had the pleasure to work with Jeremiah Hull and Lindsey. I can say that the warm, congenial spirit of Lindsey that is captured in the photos is without question a combination of the
sincerity of her brilliant character and the exceptional artistry of the photographer.

Check out Jeremiah's website for some truly beautiful photography. http://www.jeremiahhull.net/

Photo by Jeremiah Hull

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Happy National Poetry Month, Time to Fill the Air with Music!

On First Looking into John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice

Reading John Rawls is like watching Spinoza
work.  The propositional statements opening
every paragraph distinctly outline a frame.
Then the ensuing declarations reveal the delicate
curve of the lens.   One would expect a coarseness
in the grind of gritty words, a gnashing of gears
in the machinery of technicalities, but the dust
clears with the soft breath of insightful inspiration
revealing a clarity in vision, not simply of the text,
but of the world. 
                                  I imagine Keats “First Looking,”
climbing steep slopes of verdant folios from within
Baruch’s humble chamber, diligently polishing
the mind into a never-ending understanding
resolving the focus of everyone’s spectacular life. 

Garrett Buhl  Robinson

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Sketch of Breath

New chapbook!  Available in front of the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue at 42nd Street.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Everyone a Sun

Everyone a Sun

To understand is to dine divinely,
to devour without consuming.
The digestion is perception,
dissolving into the dissolving,
the more thoroughly infused,
the more completely ingested.

The sustenance is representation,
spiced with varieties of imperfections,
cascading into the metabolism
of the processes of thought.

No animal is stalked and slayed,
no fruit is plucked, no fields reaped,
they propagate through the nothing of poetry
and thrive within the enlivening mind.

Garrett Buhl Robinson

Everyone is familiar with the use of food and ingestion metaphorically representing our sentient functions or the material for those functions, for example: "Food for Thought." In addition to using the similarities as an illustrative tool, I have amused myself through the years developing a more extensive comparison between the two processes.

Of course the process of thought is performed with a physical system just as process of digestion, and of course the absorption of information through our sensory organs is comparable with the ingestion of organic molecules through our digestive tract, as our assimilation of this information into understanding has many parallels with the ingestion of molecules through our metabolic process. But an interesting consideration is that our thought process is a physical operation that actually represents something outside of ourselves, and in many ways, without disturbing what is outside of ourselves. I read a book, I grasp the information and directly transform my neurological processes to retain that information, but the information remains undisturbed on the page. It is a beautiful event.

Also, on an aside, for those of you who enjoy geometry, when considering the alimentary canal, the physical bodies of animals are actually torus shapes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Daily Meditation

Anytime I catch myself considering my life tough, I walk to the park and meditate upon this tree and tell myself to push harder and grow stronger.  

Interior Rhyme

I have seen a whole tree
grow through a crack in stone
and through the winter cleave
the rock to make a home.

In the spring the broad limbs
sing with the perches they provide
then summer with the fledglings
that fly into the sky.

Then the autumn turns
into the cooling days
and leaves as the sunlight burns
in a falling, glorious blaze.

The seasons change,
yet I remain.

Garrett Buhl Robinson