Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Newsflash: The Rapper, "Aesop Rock," inspires jogging poet

This morning I caught myself doing dishes instead of being outside - preferable jogging - while the fog was burning off. That time of day when the morning dawn shifts from wet to evaporated, dew drops beamed up like ghosts of little Scotties rising to re-assimilate within the clouds. I finished my coffee, grabbed my iPod, my new Addidas, and shot out the door as not to miss that glorious shift, not waste its passing on something so mundane (and necessary) as washing plastic containers that can't handle a ride through my dishwasher.

I always listen to music while I run, and it isn't usually rap. I had recently, however, downloaded an album by the rap artist - and I am not using the word artist lightly here - Aesop Rock, who had been deemed by an NPR word frequency study of rappers to be - skies above all others - the rapper with THE most prolific, the most varied, vocabulary.

I've always enjoyed heavy helpings of poetry, rhyme, audio books - any stimulating streams of words set to music or not, feeding my head on an nearly daily basis with the hopes that I'm perhaps increasing my OWN vocabulary a bit at each listen. Aesop is a truly gifted wordsmith, swirling through rhymes like a playful, whiskered sea otter, shooting words with the grace and accuracy of a sniper, make matches of sounds, of themes, of thoughts, as they come streaming into him, then out into the heads of iPod addicts like myself.

I finished my jog with a head full of rhymes, a body with adrenaline, not realizing just how much this Aesop "ear breakfast" was going to affect me later. I'd written a poem about a week or so ago, written it in the journal I keep for sketches, musings, ideas, quotes from books, favorite lines of poetry. I sat down to this rough draft of a poem tonight, and found myself reading it to the beat of Aesop's cadence, revising it to what I felt would be his liking - my liking - and the words were just coming, and coming effortlessly. I heard the beat in the poem, even more so than I normally do, being one who listens to music nearly all day, and reads poetry about every other.

So I thought for my first blog post, I'd post my Aesop-elucidated poem. It is one about the want - the need - to feel deeper things, to enjoy the mud of gloppy experiences, and be an overall catch-all, a sponge that remembers with all the senses touched.

I'm greedy for experience
needy for another chance
and another
an opportunistic mother
tying baby to balloons
to soar - explore -
then plunge, shake off the grunge

Take it in with eye sponges,
ear lunges
at deep talks, deep tanks,
sink into think tanks.

My sub shoots straight for the core,
chases warmish, salty-sweet sweat from my pores
pursues the opening of strange doors:
the cellar,
the attic,
places where panic

Light slants in through slats
brightens dust against the rust-deep
The brick red,
the thick red,
the bleeding out red,
blood letting volcano pressure from my
volatile, throbbing head.

Later, it's always lighter.
Soft pastels pollute my sight.
I tuck them in the pockets of my eyes,
appreciate them quickly
and move on.
I don't linger on what's light
my eyeglass - my sight -
drawn to night things.

Dark things my sight must solve:
the smeared, the blurred
the least straight forward
that is the more that I want.

The sap that drips,
the sap I sip
with tongue-thick eyes
caught, drawn in, a chamber
a fly in amber
to pause
and be moved
enough to stand still.

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