Creatives are catalysts for violence

In a park two strangers sit on a bench in the dry heat of the afternoon. Beads of sweat gather on the their foreheads and upper lips and they stare off into the distance when one man says to the other some bit about his life, some small nugget of truth like, “I miss my daughter,” or “It’s hot,” or some other kind of cliched phrase one stranger might say to another.

To which the other replies, “Word.”

And here we’ve come into some kind of agreement, a pact, if you will, of two men saying truth has just spoken and we align ourselves with this truth. Hence the phrase, “Word,” which moves in and out of fashion (probably out by now), but which stays with me because of it’s irony, that “word” in its literalness is also truth, “Word-up,” or “For sure,” which is just music. We’re singing to each other now. We can say any number of variations which is all lyrical and musical and essentially poetry speak that’s created a reality between two people. Something that did not exist is now fully alive, yet, invisible.

Or we can answer silently, by nodding our head or in our hearts confirming, thus we are always creating new realities in twos and more, that interaction is based upon acceptance and rejection, deflection and disagreement.

We speak poetry to each other every day. In the mundane and unmemorable moments we’re singing poetic connection.

“The relationship between the poet, the poem, and the reader not as a static entity but as a dynamic unfolding. An emerging sacramental event. A relation between an I and a You. A relational process,” (Edward Hirsch). Like how reading Scripture places us within this process with our Creator. Or hearing the stories about a spouse’s day connects one to his/her feelings and emotions.

Roy Peter Clark expands on the idea of twos in connection:

The secret knowledge I seek, I now believe, is embodied by and embedded in the number two. Just as two defines the information coding of computer science and genetics, two has become in my mind the essential number to create meaning in all texts, most visibly in short texts: Jesus wept. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee…

We may have the analytical skills to slice a long work into several parts. But when we seek the sources of energy, again and again it seems to resolve itself to two.

Here is the idea of noun and verb colliding and connecting the way a reader connects and collides with stories and poems.

Creatives are catalysts for violence.

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7 thoughts on “Creatives are catalysts for violence

    • Here violence means what happens when a verb and noun are put together? Or what happens when a reader comes into contact with a poem or a story? These mediums are steeped in conflict, the conflict of characters and the conflict of words (noun and verb together creating meaning). I think when you’re talking about peace, you mean the internal factors of a poem or story can produce. In this instance violence is a good thing and peace would mean no combination of verb and noun and no reader coming into contact with a story or poem.

      • So, if I’m understanding you correctly, peace would be silence? Both verbal and written? Then yes, creatives are catalysts for violence. I apologize for my misunderstanding.

        • I’m using Roy Peter Clarks analogy when he looks at twos in writing and two protons smashing against each other in the LHC. The analogy doesn’t extend beyond that. So not sure what peace would mean. But violence in this instance is the meaning and substance out of what we write.

  1. the poem, the poet, and the reader. i had an interesting experience with this lately. one of my followers has often praised my poetry. after reading one particular poem, they (intentionally hiding gender) wanted to translate it in their native language and asked some specifics about it. i prefer poems that talk about two things at the same time. for example, i have one poem that is both about a boy stalking a spider and a murderer stalking a woman.

    in another poem, a man was praising the earth – referring to it as the native americans say that we have “borrowed the earth from our children.” but the man was also praising a woman who was also borrowed. but in this case she was “borrowed” because she was a married woman having an affair. apparently, it seems this concept may have offended her, and i have not heard from her in a while. i fear that she did not like that i would write a poem in which a woman was cheating on her husband.

    if i’m right, and she is not happy with me, then it’s unfair. we have to separate the poet from the poem, or what i usually call the “speaker,” or the voice within the poem. just because i wrote a poem about someone having an affair does not mean that i am in favor of such things.

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