Writing classes

I have both my prose and poetry classes up and running sometimes twice a week. I'm trying to get in as many classes as possible before I'm transferred. One of the visiting teaching artists, Anna, who is a tremendous writer, artist and mother came in to do her workshops in my class, she is always most welcome and her stories and lessons shared are little gems of realness appreciated by both of my classes. She has come into my class as a guest artist for years. It makes our classes more real. Anna shares the same goal when it comes to teaching, we are all students and teachers, and the most important thing is to write, write, write, to create from your own hearts, lives and worlds in order to share what is universal.
However, it's an end of an era here at New Folsom Art Room. Sure they can find some other prisoners to have classes and One Soul will still come to embrace the art room. No one is irreplaceable and I will be forgotten here. But I will keep walking in my own shoes knowing that when you walk in someone else's shoes you leave no foot prints.


The Edge

If I am crying, I want to sound like I am crying, and be each tear-drop. If I am dying, I want to sound like I am dying and be each death. Today I did my poetry reading, and realness was my edge, my voice, my tone, my feel and flow.
I do memorize and say my poems out loud, but my readings are spontaneous and unrehearsed. I have no set voice, or tone, or standard modulation. I try not to speak too fast, and pronounce my words clearly. Because, I do hope folks get to savor each word, and let the beat and rhythm ring inside them like cello, violin or native flute, letting each word flow its distance in a cadence that blends one word after another. Sometimes I do rush through a reading, because I think, who am I to stand in front of anyone and read poems. Who am I to think what I offer is worthy of anyone's ears. Still I like to engender my own flow in the moment and not be rehearsed or sing-songy, but just let the moments flow as deep and real as it need be.
If I am sad, happy, angry, proud, romantic, sexy, lonely, crazy, melancholic or bitter, I want that flavor to be expressed. I am a river, a bird or a mountain's cry, whatever those moments entail. I believe we all have our own voice, cadence and speech patterns. We must cultivate that realness, that speaking poetry in our own voice. The power of realness, as steel sharpens steel. Today I opened my poetry reading with my poem “Sag” and closed it with my poem “No beauty in cell bars” and my edge was anger.



I've been uninspired and invisible for the last few days, indeed for over a week. So much sadness and melancholy sitting in my heart like low clouds or fog in a mountain valley. Not waiting to do anything, feeling too much alone.
I've not been inspired to write even snail mails, something I adore doing.
I'm in a lull and invisible like a fish without eyes in the deepest, darkest depths of the sea. I am full of emotion, actually fears longing to roll out. I am full of passion, love and realness, but no expression. But, as I write this blog I am coming out of this lull and have started my snail mail writing as well.


Michel's visit - At Night I Fly

I've just seen "At Night I Fly" for the first time. I've still not seen the short documentary "Three Poems by Spoon Jackson", that started this film history.
I must say Michel did the best job on the film and I can see why it won the Swedish Oscar and also the second biggest award in Sweden. The piece is amazing, unique, real and a blended balance of art, life prison, and the human condition everywhere.
This film touched on aspects of life and art in a way that transcended stereotypes and hatred. It'ss a blended non sentimental ballad of a film with imagery, art and words. Life and suffering at it's deepest, and most profound levels and at times a bit absurd. Something I'm sure Samuel Beckett and Barney Rosset would have appreciated. The proper balance of imagery, silence and speech which spoke for themselves. Young people are able to see from the film how prison life is and can be and not glorify it. Young folks anywhere in the world can relate to At Night I Fly.
The only thing I'm kicking myself in the ass about is how I could have been more in the film, and could have had an individual interview like the other prisoners in the film, if I would have kept my ego more in check. I was pissed off because there were limits on where I could be filmed. I told Michel the film maker forgive me and my ego for getting in the way of the production at times.
But Michel told me the way I am in the film was not perfect but fitted the entire narrative perfectly. The Spoon I am came across and I am thrilled about that. The film is a blessing. A unique, universal take on humanity, prison life and the arts. How as human beings we are all connected through darkness and light. I could be you and you me. I know it's hard to believe.
Thanks film maker brother Michel, and At Night I Fly.

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If you want to see the films, buy the DVD's here: