Back in 1999 when I met Adam he was living in New York City while I was still thrashing against my cage in Michigan. After our initial collision one life-altering evening in NY, I headed back to the Midwest with a sad goodbye and a sorrowful sigh, not sure if we would ever meet again. But 670 miles could not come between the spark that we had ignited, and the next five months pulsed with love letters, poetry, flowers and phone calls that lasted well into the night. On some of our late night phone calls Adam would read to me. He would read me poetry and passages from Shakespeare, and one night he read T.S. Eliot's, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I had never heard it before and I sat there, breathless, as he read me these words that sank within my soul and crashed around within me in echoes and whispers. I made him read it to me again immediately.
Adam came to visit me in Michigan a few months before I moved to NYC. His first night there, as we lay on the bed wrapped in each other's arms, he started to recite The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock from memory. That's right, he memorized the damn thing! For those of you not familiar with the poem, it is not a short poem. It has nearly 1,100 words, so let's just say it was a significant 'wow' moment for me. Since those early days in 1999 I have read the poem probably over a hundred times. It has become one of those external things in life that you can point to and say, "There, that's part of who I am as a person."
One of my favorite finds from last year's Stumptown is an artist by the name of Jonathan Case.
There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
Old goatherds swear how all night long they hear
About a year ago I wrote a post about a poem I'd heard called "Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind". The poem was written by a man named Gary Ross and the poem was recited in a movie called "Trigger Effect". This poem existed no where on the internet or in publication and it wasn't until I went through the movie, pausing every few moments throughout the three sections of film in which different parts of it were recited, that it finally made it to the great and wondrous internets. The reason that I mention this for the second time is because in recently checking on Gary Ross's IMDB page I've found that he has written an update which includes the second part of this poem. Gary also mentions that he is trying to get this children's poem published so hopefully we'll see it on bookshelves soon.
Here is the updated poem, yet still unfinished.