Another review has come out of Kenny Cole’s Parabellum exhibit at the University of Maine Museum of Art, which includes several of my poems. All the reviews are tremendously positive, focusing on Kenny’s brilliance, the multi-layered, many-dimensioned nature of the artwork.
A wonderful aspect of this work of genius is its thoroughly anti-war, anti-jingoism theme.
My participation in this project is entirely due to Cole's generosity. He could have used any poet, or even his own phrases. Indeed, I consider him as much a poet as an artist, as I have stated in this blog (various links are below).
I do get mentioned in the reviews, which has been most heartening. For instance, from the latest review, by Daniel Kany:
The texts inside the paintings are from the poems of [Owl Who Laughs]. While I was trying to understand the poetic fragments, I read them out loud. It was only then that their tenderly plaintive lusciousness (imagine the tears of a beloved child) was fully – and movingly – revealed.
“Dense and Masterful ‘Parabellum’ at University of Maine Museum of Art”
A link to another review is below, plus directions to Kenny’s website, where you can find samples from the exhibit. Over two-hundred surfaces were painted and organized into a layered format, including gouaches and authentic 19th century newspaper. Viewers were allowed to open/close the canvases, as you would a book, to reach various depths of presentation. My poetry occurs beneath all else, at the hidden-most point of thought and sensation.
To read the poems included in Parabellum, you can go to Kenny’s website. I’m greatly honored that he posted them:
It is wonderful to get recognition, and yet much of my journey as a poet is quite painful. I steadily confront the saddest topics, and the greatest dangers to our future. Sometimes I question the importance of what I am doing. I simmer in doubt within my solitude. In the end, this is part of the gamut of psychic challenges I decided to accept. The poet, or artist, dares to ride a pendulum of feelings, and even tries to become more sensitive, attuned to laughter, rage or wailing, as these bubble up from the mind’s living caverns.
It is a complex pursuit. Perhaps I am somewhat like a monk flagellating himself. We all have many voices in us, and they are not always consonant. To balance their energies is to juggle pluses and minuses. I think poetry wears me down in some ways, and lifts me up in others. Am I ultimately selfish or sacrificial? I hope the truth lies somewhere between, beyond the false dichotomy.
Be good to yourself and seek the good,
Link to Kenny Cole’s site, re: Parabellum:
Some of my thought on Kenny Cole and/or Parabellum: