As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I manage the Integrated Reading and Writing Learning Center at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas, one of the coolest (but least written about) metropolitan areas in the United States.
I’m blessed to have really good tutors in the center. One of them, Robin Gara, a retired reading and art teacher, paints and writes. The two of us, when things are quiet in our place, often talk about all things artsy-fartsy.
This past weekend, Robin showed some of her paintings in an Art Deco pizzeria located on Fredericksburg Road. My wife and I went to see Robin’s work, and by sheer happenstance, while we were there, they were having an open mic poetry reading. So, after looking at Robin’s stuff—she does amazing things with a pallet knife—and before taking off, we watched some truly interesting characters read a bit of their writing in a funky public setting.
Robin has been after me to get involved in the local art scene—to read some of my writings at the several locales that sponsor public readings. After what I witnessed this past weekend, I think I’m going give it a try.
When I was in my twenties, I used to publish a heck of a lot of poems—or pomes. I kind of stopped, though, quite a long time ago, so I didn’t know if I had anything that I might read. Then I found an old folder full of some passable stuff. I’ve included a couple here.
The Free Man
There’s plenty of reasons to be.
That my life is not my own
I mean I don’t own my life.
If I did, I wouldn’t be here, not now, not never.
If I did, I’d be gone, long gone, gone long ago.
If I did, I’d be sleeping or screaming
Or something other than this something I am doing
Or am not doing now,
This thing I’m doing is not a thing for free men
My doing it proves that freedom is for others,
I want to meet the free man, the other man.
I will sit next to him and not speak.
I will sit next to him and watch
When he stands and leaves, I will
Stand and leave.
We two will walk together, not one in front of the other
But shoulder to shoulder.
I Am the Son of Eve
To teach is to be taught.
To learn is to unlearn.
To find the straight and narrow one needs to follow
A winding path.
Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge.
For Eve, I am thankful.
Adam was a wimp because he didn’t think of doing this
Before Eve planted the seed.
Poor Adam, a man
To be pitied.
I am the son of Eve.
I am not the son of Adam.
Like Eve, I do not fear the snake.
I listen to its words and make up
My own mind.
I do not follow the serpent without
When it speaks the truth,
I will not fear.
Fear is that thing which made Adam ashamed
Of his nakedness.
Eve walked proudly without