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January, 2008

Yuk Yuks

About The Enchanted Voice
How to get at the imagination
By  Robert Priest

To break out of the vault one must surrender to the magical voice inside.
suspect there is a great vault of visions sealed up within me — visions gleaned from radio beams and telepathies, from receptions and inspirations, visions that had been stored and condensed into revelations and fiction.

The problem is how to release some of these crystallized messages.

As everything, and particularly language, is entirely elastic, I determined to go at the creation or unleashing of this inner literature by more fully elasticizing my consciousness.

To do this I sought to stretch all my concepts, to exert the force of my will outwards and whatever boundaries I had ever set up for anything — for words, for locales, for morals, for grammar.

This was, in effect, to transmute everything within my creative reach to something that was loose, indefinable, edgeless and possibly endless.

It also meant nullifying every concept, finding its opposite and bringing the two together, making them face each other in the mirror of life and thus dispersing them.

In short, I wanted to negate all that was soundest of my certainties, to launch a physical and musical and humorous onslaught against standard usage, phrasing, diction, punctuaton, theology and morality.

To let the mouth go crazy, in other words. For what are sanity's two building blocks, logic and preconception, but the very walls to that treasure house inside?  One must be prepared to violate them in every way.

One must have the courage to speak any "atrocity," any truth, no matter how gross.

One must surrender entirely to the magical voice inside, so that the poet by his sense of abandon — by being a criminal, by stretching out all the little gods of language to the furthest limit of their meaning so that one word encompasses and overlaps all the words — makes poems that become tense and snap to let the world in.

For it is the way of an enchanted voice to lunge for the truth and even if it arrives sometimes covered in a mesh of taut, distorted features — even if on seeing it your concepts are shattered — it gives a sign that the great verities are at work

So why do I write?

Being a poet I must do my rounds, checking up on language, finding out the dead words, re-exploding the holy dynamites, keeping the reverberations and musics fresh.

As a Priest it is also my job to let the light in, to be a reflector, to open up curtains. Sometimes a word is too rigid — like an icon — and it blocks the light of its own origin and doesn’t shine through. So I have to soften it up a bit, throw it into the corner and find out where its weak spots are, batter it until it falls way like an empty mask.

I picture myself as a kind of scientist mixing the mental elements, distilling them and exploding them, looking for answers in inkblots, hoping to reveal the roots of certain patterns, strings of words, prayers, curses, hope to take the masks of things. Everything though is totally by chance — I'm mixing chemicals like a blind man with paint, never knowing which colour I will set off next.

Also I am trying to break out of my own silence. So, any violence here is never towards you — it is only towards the language and the ideas… At the same time I am also an antenna and a barometer — a singing barometer, a kind of tenor radar sending out the bleeps with love… with love hoping for best.IN Icon

Robert Priest is a Toronto, Canada poet, singer/songwriter, journalist and children's author.

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
The Long Life Of Poetry
Marketplaces For Your Poetry
Haiku: Highest Art
What Am I Doing Wrong?
Lyrically Speaking
Writing Poems
The Mind Of A Poet
A Poem Is A Little Path
Seeing Like A Poet
Speaking In Tongues (Excerpt)

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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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