Up From the Skies, EXP, EMP:
I was standing on the walkway to my house, okay, okay, so it was the entrance to the Inn at Queen Anne. A man walked up and said “Excuse me,” I moved, he moved, we each guessed incorrectly, then he said “I’m sorry.” The funny thing is, I knew exactly what he meant. A few nights ago, as I was returning from my ‘jam room’ – the place where I go play guitar next to Key Arena, I was walking ‘home,’ and I passed two (hetero-sexual) couples leaving the hotel. The first guy to pass me said, “Maybe I should go find a street corner,” perhaps inviting the second guy to say “Damn, maybe just a shelter.” The very last person of this quartet, a relatively cute blonde, sporting a Barbie pony tail AND getting away with it, nervously giggled: at least one of them showed hu-manity. These two ‘jokers’ didn’t deserve a response, so the words which sprang to my mind instantly, remained unuttered: “Or, I could just go to my room.” Maybe they had never seen someone staying in a hotel who knows how to play a guitar, meaning they can’t afford to stay in hotels rock-stars stay in, or maybe they wanted to insult me because I’d sport more style than they did if I dressed like Raggedy Andy on the set of The Walking Dead.
I’m 6’3″ and from what I have learned, I am taller than 95% of men in the world. Essentially meaning, I’m taller than 95% of the people in the world. The man who said “Excuse me,” was a good two inches taller than me, (but really skinny, so I’m sure I could have taken him.) and – what he said. Did I think that he was insecure? Did I think that he lacked self-confidence? As I mentioned earlier, I KNEW exactly what he meant, because I have used similar language in similar situations. What he communicated to me, as someone who ‘groks’ language was: “I’m right here. Be not afraid.” Did I mention he was an African-American? Can you guess the ethnicity of the ‘jokers?’ So, a free translation lesson for all my friends: when someone speaks in a way that you may consider self-deprecating, or demonstrating low self-worth, consider these lines from one of my favorite poets, who also happens to be the greatest of guitarists incarnate – Jimi Hendrix: “I just want to talk to you, I won’t do you no harm.”
Words From Other Writers:
Topaz – Education, or academic credentials do not make a fine poet. I will say, when sending out your work, if you don’t want the ‘ain’t ready’ response, don’t format center justified. Your poetry is good enough to stand on its own.
Bart Baxter – author, poet, aviator
The Handbook of Poetic Phonetics by Topaz is a full-course poetic meal of character and caricature, of introspection and observation through different cultures, languages and modes of thought. Each turn of a page takes you to a different place, a different time, a different consciousness and a different set of eyes and ears, but all part of one fertile and restless center.
Blaine Hammond – author, Solve for X, Rusting Peacefully, editor, Poetalk, priest
|Dimensions||13.97 × 0.2794 × 21.59 cm|