For National Poetry Month

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a lot of folks keep
indicating poetry is dead
but if poetry is dead
then i a poet am dead too
and i a poet refuse to
die oh so easily
and i a poet refuse
to lay down my pen
into a burning grave
where all poems are laid
waiting for the stroke
of heavy brute hands
holding a cruel match
to torch any semblance
of intelligentsia bound
to pen bound to parchment
bound to deliver courage
to quavering souls
bound to deliver laughter
to discouraged cold
bound to deliver tears
to hardened hearts
bound to deliver smiles
to lips depressed daily
by hardship scorn

Celebrating National Poetry Month (April 5th – April 10th)

My next National Poetry Month adventure took me down to Grand Central Station in Manhattan for “Poetry in Motion” hosted by the Poetry Society of America (PSA) and MTA Arts & Design.

The event took place on Friday, April 7th from 11:00 a.m. to 7p.m. It was a daunting task for me to make it to this venue before all festivities were done. Not only did I have to work in my White Plains office that day but I also had a high priority 4 p.m. conference call that I could not skip.

The plan was to go in early so i could leave early, however, the 4 p.m. conference call was like a speed bump in my path. I decided to press the Start | Shutdown button on my computer at 2 p.m., take the Westchester Avenue loop bus to the train station in White Plains and jump on an express to Grand Central. I would take the conference call at Grand Central.

All went according to plan. I arrived at Grand Central at 3:40 p.m. I needed to find a quiet spot to take the call. I took the escalators up to the Hyatt hotel and took the call in a large open foyer that led to the outside. It was perfect. I finished the call, left the foyer and headed back down the escalator to the main concourse. I walked across the concourse to Vanderbilt Hall and there it was, “Poetry in Motion”. Signs bearing the motto “The Poet is iN” adorned both the left and right side of Vanderbilt Hall’s huge chamber. I always thought one could easily fit a small two bedroom house into the space of the hall and still have plenty room for two or three cars and a truck.

Underneath each “The Poet is iN” sign was a poet sitting at a table typing on a typewriter. Sitting in front of the poets were people. Young men, older men, young women, older women, children, a diversity of race, a variety of nationalities, tourists, locals, commuters from many counties outside of the big city and much, much more. One poet had nearly an entire family sitting in front of her. The moment of my approach into the hall was stunning. Everyday people like you and me standing in line having a poem written, customized and tailored just for them. The line for a sit down with a poet ran in the middle of the hall. I immediately joined in. Someone who knew that I was a poet stopped by and asked, “shouldn’t you be at a typewriter?” I said, “No.  Not Today.  Today I just want to have a poem written, customized and tailored…just for me.”

The journey continues. Stay tuned for my next post, Saturday night with InspiredWordNYC and back to the Blue Note!