Every new blog, every new journal, sketchbook, apartment (besides my current)…. I like to start a new chapter with this poem. It’s my manifesto, only Jimmy Santiago Baca said it better / said it first. Erin introduced this poem to me in 2002 and ever since…………

If I ever get married, I want a fairly non-traditional affair, with private vows and words…. and I want a reader to read this poem aloud to the attendees while the private ceremony takes place at the front of the room/gallery/cathedral/field [i haven’t thought that far yet]. Then, when the reading is over, I want a kiss and a gospel choir kind of like in R&J (the Claire Danes version duh).  Or maybe “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but that’s not as romantic, it’s just “my jam!” Anyway, there’s no rush but I just wanted to say. 

“if it does not feed the fire of your creativity, then leave it.

if people and things do not inspire your heart to dream, then leave them.

if you are not crazily in love and making a stupid fool of yourself, then step

closer to the edge of your heart and climb where you’re forbidden to go.

debts, accusations, assaults by enemies mean nothing,

go where the fire feeds you.

turn your attention to the magic of whores, grief, addicts, and drunks, until you stumble upon

that shining halo surrounding your heart that will allow you to violate every fear happily,

be where you’re not supposed to be,

the love of an angel who’s caught your blood on fire again, who’s gulped all of you in one breath

to mix in her soul, to explode your brooding

and again, your words rush from the stones

like a river coursing down from some motherly mountain source

and if your life doesn’t spill forth unabashedly, recklessly, randomly

rushing in wonder at life,

then change, leave, quit, silence the idle chatter and do aay with useless acquaintances

who have forgotten how to dream

bitch rudely in your dark mood at the mediocrity of scholars who meddle in whimsy for academic t rifles – 

let you be their object of scorn,

let you be their object of mockery,

let you be their chilling symbol

of what they never had the courage to do, to complete, to follow,

let you be the flaming faith that makes them shield their eyes

as you burn from all sides

taking a harmless topic and making of it a burning galaxy

or shooting stars in the dark of their souls,

illuminating your sadness, your aching joy for life, your famished insistence for God and all that is creative

to attend you as a witness to your struggle,

let the useless banter and quick pleasures belong to others, the merchants, computer analysts,

and government workers;

you haven’t been afraid of rapture among thieves, bloody duels in drunken brawls,

denying yourself the essence of our soul work

as poems rusted while you scratched at your heart to see if it was diamond and not cheap pane glass

now, then, after returning from one more poet’s journey

in the heart of the bear, the teeth of the wolf, the legs of the wild horse,

sense what your experience tells you,

your ears ringing with deception and lies and foul tastes,

now that your memory is riddled with blank loss,

tyrants who wielded their boastful threats to the sleeping dogs and old trees in the yards,

now that you’ve returned from men and women who’ve abandoned their dreams and sit around

like corpses in the grave moldering with regret,

steady your heart now, my friend, with fortitude

long-lasting enduring hope, and hail the early dawn like a ship off coast that’s come for you,

spent and ragged and beggared,

if what you do and how you live does not feed the fire in your heart and blossom into poems,

leave, quit, do not turn back, move fast away from that which would mold your gift,

break it, disrepect it, kill it.

guard it, nurture it, take your full-flung honorable heart and plunge it into the fire

into the stars, into the trees, into the hearts of others

sorrow and love and restore the dream

by writing of it’s again-discovered wild beauty.”

I think I will be posting sort of an archive for a bit, because I was using RapidWeaver to blog before WordPress, and obviously those things didn’t carry over. I’ll raft [like in Oregon Trail, ford the river? Was that it?] the important things over eventually… you know 🙂

xoxo,

kristina renee

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