Author photo by Peter's son, Walter Bakowski

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October in the railroad earth of Melbourne 2009

Reading Jack Kerouac at the age of eighteen, made me want to hit the road. In the early 1980's I hit the road for seven years. October in the northern hemisphere remains a cherished month. October 15 is my birthdate and also my mother's birthdate.
As a poet I remain enthralled by the duality of the world - between work focus and the equally necessary times when we take a nap, sit on a park bench or "goof off".
Time is part of that duality - when time is a prison guard and we cower under his truncheon or on the other side of the day's mirror when we sit in a green field and are made quiet in watching the wind chess move the clouds.
The way we spend time can not always be called wise. Offering our love to someone who can't reciprocate it is a "waste" of time but only if we don't learn, move out of the dust and our begging clothes.
Earlier this month I sold a copy of my latest volume of poems, "Beneath Our Armour" to Elvis Costello. Have found myself re-listening to his recording "Painted From Memory" and also re-hearing in my head his song "Alison" I think the heightened knockout singing performances are when the singer isn't acting, singing from a persona. Two examples of the singer revealing himself are Bob Dylan's "I Threw It All Away" and his "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go." Please note that Elvis Costello has been known to sing "I Threw It All Away" live.
Let's go for the song and the poem that we have to write because our heart has had a match lit underneath it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why I haven't suicided

To me being suicidal is when a person cannot see any ladder up/a life preserver they can grasp. I didn't suicide when extremely lonely in London in the 1980's because I considered to do so would be a slap in the face to surgeons that saved my life via heart surgery. To a degree I feel that suicide is "unnatural" - to the best of my knowledge animals don't suicide. To a degree I consider suicide a middle class "indulgence" - most people who suicide aren't without food, shelter, warm clothing. Continuing, striving, having "hope" is certainly a hard and thorny road. The extremely difficult parts of our lives, in surviving them, we learn and knowledge is an anchor. My poem, "Self-portrait with beliefs, 19 October 1997" contains the lines "In fact, I'd say/that curiosity/is my best friend..." Falling in love with the map of the world at the age of six has given me a reason to continue. Reading books in rooms throughout the world saved my life. A suicide is a warning, an event to stop you in your tracks to grieve and think. Sometimes we must stop our rushing and see and absorb again how miraculous is a bird poised on roof guttering beyond our kitchen window.