Air, Water, Poetry: National Poetry Month

It’s that wonderful time of year again, to honor and celebrate all things poetic- Poetry and Poets for April’s National Poetry Month! 

But before I post my first poems, I wanted to segue from a post last year where I introduced the topic of visual Poetry Journaling.  I mentioned starting a Pinterest board of visual poetry to get inspired, and indeed, this all started a new journey begun last April to incorporate more visuals on my otherwise white pages. The biggest push into this wonderful world has been the many artists I discovered on IG who inspired quick, 15 minute journal  pages, abstract moods, collage, found poems, asemic writing, mindful mending, and messy mixed media techniques. You can follow my arty discoveries here on IG  @OrbitingOracle.  

Blending arts and media in this way makes a lot of sense for any artist, and why not? For me, my poems are never separate from musical Muses, which are never separate from lyrics, which are never separate from the constant visuals- all of which is fed by emotion, imagination, spark, and  color. To explore this gorgeous cross fertilization, I began a journey into the art world via classes, art challenges, and personal projects for the first time as I set about to jazz up my journals.

I also mostly make my own journals now, made of different papers (watercolor, scrap, sketch, junk, and vintage). While I’m not there yet- a poetry journal style that leaves ample space for words and forms with a dance between image, texture, color, and written sentiment- the journey and discoveries have been fascinating; I feel like a poet-musician wandering about one mixed media artist’s studio after another as I try varied things- and it’s been a blast! But my overall aim is to bring it all home; spacious pages that hold my poems ensconced in visuals when the mood strikes.

So ‘what if…we told ourselves that nothing else mattered but our art in April?’ Here is my Day 1 poem:

Excerpt from Air, Water, Poetry
© 2019-4-1 Tara Linda. v.4

For National Poetry Month this year, I’m excited to try different art and collage visuals with my poems, with cues coming from my usual favorite poetic forms (free verse, short haiku, waka, tanka…) and others. As usual, inspirations will be more spontaneous than cued; overheard conversations, other poets’ work, my Muses, and scattered prompts.

And because I always make it a point to buy more poetry in April from local bookstores and small publishers, (YES!- Support Poets: read/buy more Poetry!) I will be also be showing you favorite poet authors and recent book purchases. Please leave a comment below to let me know if you are also writing and posting poetry for the next 29 days, or just say Hi!!

Visual Poetry Ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/taralinda/poetry-journal-visual-feast-planner/

NaPoWriMo

Sappho’s Muse

Aloof

Muse awoke

You promised me a poem

I faltered…no time-

Then read your Sappho! she whirled

Leave your fragments, crumbs to Air!

Tanka. ©Tara Linda

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I’m enjoying this awesome new book~ Searching for Sappho by Philip Freeman. I like it because in addition to offering her poems, it presents her fragments within a cultural construct; what could have been happening in and around Sappho on Lesbos and elsewhere in the region, notably Sparta and Athens, as she was living and writing? What could have influenced and inspired her? What were the marriage ceremonies that she wrote so much about? What is a possible cultural basis of the last Sappho poem found- as evidenced by other neighboring Greek writers, existing histories (that were not burned), and the writers who came later quoting Sappho in their poetry courses and writings in ways more complete than her found fragments show. What is news to me is that while she had her detractors, yes, there were more who respected her- masters, Aristotle among them- who held her poems, songs, and words as a supreme example of a highly skilled poet who equaled and surpassed the writers of her day, in voice, complex Greek forms and technique, as well as output.  This book is a fast read; highly recommended. Even if your Muses spurn you for not wanting to put it down to write for them. 😉

sappho

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Trading Muses~ Fighting the Funk w/ more Creativity

I’m trading the Musical Muses for the Poetry and Crafty Muses this month! Stay tuned for jewelry and other gems that will float by like the leaves!

I’m not sure how people do it- blogging from the road.  I’ve just kick started this blog, & haven’t done so well these past few months of getting to computers while traveling.  But I really want to get better at it- and I welcome advice from others!

Now that I’m home for awhile, it feels like I can counter this patch of blue burnout that’s been slowly brewing over the last few weeks.  Since releasing a new CD in May, and working hard to get the word out, traveling short tours (Texas, China, US- Northwest coast, Southwest,…), doing distribution & radio campaigns-  I need some creative down time.  I’m just happy to be able to do this from home for the next few weeks.

Funny, It’s not enough to write the music, record it, find great musicians to perform it.  Being “independent”- unsigned & with no record label support- musicians have to do everything themselves now;  record your own music, find distributors for it, book shows & tours yourself, do all your own promotion, find the funds, travel with little down time, run your own radio campaigns, constantly live on a shoestring, pay bills with crazy low shifting incomes (haah!), and of course wake up happy & energized to keep inspired day after day.  I’m really not complaining- I’m just amazed how much work it takes to try to be an independent, full-time musician.  You definitely have to have a thick skin, and like the journey more than anything else.

Ok so some Good news now!:  It’s not all for naught; I put my heart & soul into my latest CD (Tortilla Western Serenade ) culling what I think have been my best songs over the last coupla years, writing lots of new ones, working w/ cool musicians I never thought i’d meet much less work with.  I’m really excited about how it all came out- it is my opus so far. 😉   I named it Tortilla Western(spaghetti western meets Tex-Mex & rock), to fill a void, a confluence of influences I just didn’t hear & wanted more of.  The reviewers have been kind. Right now, over 50 US radio stations are playing  it (eeek!), its been 7 weeks in the top 25 roots rock/Americana charts; European stations are spinning it; old & new fans are listening & responding so sweetly (which inspires like nothing else!)

I make music not only to serve the hungry Muses that channel through me, but to hopefully put something into the world that is refreshing, unique, hopeful, uplifting, loving, inspiring, provocative, fun, & vivid. It really is an offering- from the Muses & me.  As reward, I just want to eek out a small, modest mode of survival. (ha!- but don’t all artists!!?)

So yes, suddenly I need a break.  I actually kinda shut down 2 weeks ago.  & last weekend (Labor Day) was my first such break of sorts; so I laid low, read Neil Gaiman, wrote a poem, listened to Peggy Lee, & started getting my jewelry space organized to start making things again.  I need this as therapy- am desperate for it~ Someplace to run into & not come out of until soothed.

So Musical Muses! Thank you for so much presence this past year; I treasure you…

But now, I need to nest up for Fall & make some new treasures.  I haven’t made anything in (omg… 2 years!?) But I’m thankful for friends who are asking about my next trunk show, or asking for pieces.  The challenge is on;  its Fall!  Between shows & travel, I’m getting busy 😉  yay!