Haiku #1021


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been playing around with old haikus. Here is a haiku I wrote while hiking in the redwoods last January.

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Haiku #1021

Help me finish writing my first novel!

Do you want to help your favorite Dream Poet get through the coldest months of the new year? BECOME A PATRON! I’ve expanded a campaign for you to support my writing and get back for what you give.

Click here: https://www.patreon.com/marshalljameskavanaugh

For any amount you’ll get access to my collections past and future of Travel By Haiku, as well as a behind the scenes look at a novel I’ve been writing for four years now. Give a little more and you’ll be able to read the rough drafts of this novel as well as other collections I’ve published in the past.

The novel I’m working on is about the first road trip I took across the country in 2014. A lot of you have already heard excerpts from it, but for those who haven’t, it takes place mostly in a month-long stretch between San Francisco, Big Sur, and LA featuring a style of borderline fiction and beatnik reflection leaving the reader breathless, caught between dream worlds, seeking the meaning of the American Dream in general. This will be the opening saga of the Marshall Deerfield legend and I am restless to get it to its completion.

I really appreciate any support this winter, since I won’t have as many opportunities to type on the streets and as a result I’ll be living pretty frugally. If you’ve enjoyed my writing in the past, this would be a great chance to support me while engaging in the process.

If monthly fees ain’t your thing and you’re looking for another way to offer support: I’m always open to one-time tips or commissions to write poems for loved ones. Anything and everything goes a long way for this simple poet / zen lunatic. Thanks again for all of the support of my community in the past. I hope to have this novel in a place ready to be published by the end of the year, so y’all can read it from cover to cover.

Help me finish writing my first novel!

Travel By Haiku

Just received another stack of Travel By Haiku in the mail. If you have enjoyed following my journeys on here, y’all should be sure to grab this piece of the road for your personal collection. In there you’ll find little glimpses of the natural beauty found across the continent. And some of the wild rides I’ve taken to get there. They make great gifts and are sure to inspire the beat within us all to pursue their dreams on the road.

Get one from my website, http://bit.ly/TravelByHaiku

Travel By Haiku: Volume 1-5, Still Trippin’ Across The States is a collection of poetry written during travels across the United States in 2014 and 2015. Each haiku brings the reader along on the road across the country taking brief pauses to admire the air, the sunsets, the beaten earth, the tall trees on high mountains, and the breath of the ocean surf. Readers will find themselves transported to a humble place with a still mind and a new found admiration for their natural surroundings.

Travel By Haiku

Poets For Peace in Boulder

POETS FOR PEACE
Tour no. 4
Day 3 – Boulder: recap
on the road with Julia Daye and Anthony Carson

The night in Boulder ends at a pizza place. The table filled with poets old and new. Poets For Pizza. It’s the history of the town that puts this in context. Here we are, the Allen Ginsberg’s, Jack Kerouac’s, Neal Cassidy’s of our generation hovering around our slices of pizza like coffee mugs, discussing the politics of the day.

I look around at my peers and am in awe of the power of these individuals around me. Journeyers and dreamers. Wordsmiths and musicians. Voicing the concerns of the oppressed. Creating a more intersectional reality. Serving their community inwards and outwards.

Earlier there was a poetry reading at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe, one of the only poetry-specific bookstores in the country. Full of beatnik and meta-beatnik flare, as well as so many other incredibly powerful voices.

The reading begins with the words of Jona Fine. Taking us back to the shooting at a night club in Orlando last year. The outcry of the LGBTQ+ community. The fear that beckons at our door again. The strength of those who have been through it before, coming together and raising each other up to face another day.

Matt Clifford follows. Honoring the inner clown. Espousing through satire, 2nd amendment laws and the way government polices us all. His truths that we all die, most of us relatively soon, are met with bursts of laughter. Jaws dropping. Turning over this bleak reality. And yet the joy inside a moment so fleeting.

More and more students and vagabonds begin marching in. Fellow peaceniks and curious townsfolk. Carrying signs and songs of the rêvelution. The room swells for the Poets For Peace.

It creates the space for two clowns and the voice of the mother earth to take to the microphone and shed applause and laughter on the atmosphere. The room evolving from poetry to vaudeville. The clowns laughing so hard, they’re not sure if others laugh with them, at them, or maybe are all silent, their own laughter being so loud it serves to seem like it’s everyone’s. The voice of the mother earth giving soothing, healing vibes with her groundedness.

A round robin of poetry from each one of them. Haikus that sing. Prayers to Mother Earth. Songs of enlightenment.

The one clown with a guitar makes faces that cause some clowns in the audience to burst out laughing. He says, “Oh, you like that? You like my face?” and continues with more eccentricity in his expressions and voice acting.

The voice of the mother earth blows wind into the two clowns’ fires. She speaks eloquently and passionately about the plague of toxic masculinity on her surface. On her terrestial body. It causes the clowns to settle down with their horseplay and focus on how they too are a part of the problem, but can also be part of the solution.

The other clown reads of the Hayukka. The Sacred Clowns of Lakota legend. He talks of direct action and nonviolent protest. Something of a skit like The Three Stooges that took place at Standing Rock, involving clowns in a canoe and police following along the shore in a professional golf cart.

The night almost lasts too long. But it’s just perfect. Short enough to be a dream. Long enough to leave everyone feeling complete.

To finish it off, one of the clowns pulls out a kaleidoscope and shares his psychedelic visions with the peaceniks who have amassed around him. One of them drops it and it shatters into a million pieces. Confetti for the breeze to take away into the infinite star dust above. When the clown picks it up and looks back through this kaleidoscope monacle, the vision is even more twisted and satisfying.

Everything in rainbows and ecstatic multi-colored light.

Poets For Peace in Boulder

Rocky Mountain High

(Written on 9/11/2016)

I’m familiar with Crow on every fence post, but it’s been a while since I’ve flown along his path. Soaring across the highway when we pass. The way the sky changes at sun down when it has more room to express itself. How Rocky Mountains are actually quite rocky when they begin to populate the horizon. Passing towns have signs like “historic” and “preserving the west” with pictures of cowboys and yet they’re only 100 years old. I begin to see sunsets followed by sunrises. Having completely fulfilling days.

Fox greets us at the first campsite. He stares nonplussed into the headlights waiting for us to make our move first. When we remain stunned he moves back to his lean-to stores. A pile of packaged meat, left by some wayward wanderer. Fox carries off ham, ribs, turkey wing, one at a time. His bushy tail sailing behind him especially pompous.

We decide on a campsite less occupied, a little further down the road. There’s a feeling of darkness in the night but we seem pretty much untouched by it. In the morning, Fox transformed back into his human form, comes and collects money for the campsite from us. He has a bit of a Southern drawl and is generally well-humored.

We see Coyote in the road. Several times. He’s snooping after Wild Turkey. Later on the trail, Wild Turkey leaves behind his tail feathers for us to gather. I find Hawk’s feather as well.

The trail to the pictoglyphs is still one of wonder. We drift through ruins, along canyons hundreds of feet deep, with bird faces and elder faces set in the stone.

Mule Deer comes and visits our camp in the morning. She realizes we’re friendly and invites her newborn fawn. And then her sister too. Turkey Vulture circles above. We wonder if she found Turkey for a meal.

The ancients visit our dreams. They visit our conscious conversations. We talk of existence and the story we all tell. We envision the effect of humanity on the ecosystem. We express intelligence is probably not humanoid, but rather a much larger system. Aren’t moons intelligent? Aren’t whole planets? If intelligence were to grow to its full potential, wouldn’t it want to go some place it couldn’t be found?

The landscape is serene. It is the definition of serenity. There’s some days where it’s even more pretty. But every day the sun sets and the sun rises in the most dazzling of colors.

Rocky Mountain High

Working on the Novel

(photo by Ras Jiro)

I’ve been writing poetry for 3-12 hours a day for the last week and a half. Sometimes working on a novel. Sometimes just working. Not always for myself. Sometimes behind a typewriter in the plaza and getting paid. Other times at home and in the backyard at my writer’s desk and drinking tea.

When I’m in the middle of writing the novel, I fill with envy for my future self who can say he is almost done and has less to write than he has written. Sometimes my head spins with how much I have left to write. Other times my head spins with all of the other novels I have left to start writing.

When I’m in the street, my mind taps into something outside of myself and I see the words typed in front of me come out cleaner and clearer each day, giving me this sense of pride for the poems people walk away with.

When I’m at home, I’m filled with this desire to share with someone what I’m writing. To just have it done and published already.

Sometimes I wonder how Kerouac did it. I wonder how Miller did it. I wonder how Thompson did it. No one ever taught me how to do any of this. I feel like I’m past the point of making it up for myself, and almost at the point of finding the things that actually work.

Today I bought 4 poems worth of groceries. It’s enough for the week. I’ve been thinking about upping the rate I suggest. People really value spontaneous poetry. I see the romance it inspires. I see the hope it gives. I feel first hand the connections to the earth it creates. I’ve written birthday poems to people’s grandmothers. I’ve written love poems to people’s wives. I’ve written surrealist poems to old beatniks who tell me about the time they saw Gary Snyder walking a purple poodle. One guy asked me to write a poem to his enemy and I wrote an apology. None of this can be translated to dollar signs.

Someone has been leaving pennies underneath the rosebush where I write in downtown Taos. The first time I thought it was odd enough. The penny was old and dirty. It looked like it had been sitting there for a while. But I’m there 3 to 4 days a week, so I would’ve noticed it before. Oddly, this was the first or second penny I’ve found in months.

The second and third time, the pennies were even older and dirtier, as if they had sprouted from the ground and were young seedlings. And there were more of them. 

They weren’t there when I first sat down.

I found the pennies after writing a poem that really struck a chord. A poem about heart consciousness. A poem about spreading abundance.

Perhaps the rosebush has been tipping me. 

I believe in magnetism. I believe in abundance. I feel absolute gratitude. I wish there was more time in the day. I wish I had more energy. I wish my focus was stronger. I wish I had the words to describe everything I dream.

Some days I realize this is the life I lead. I realize it is leading to something greater. I realize if this is all I have at the end of it, I’m okay with that.

My words continue to give smiles. These smiles continue to give me what I need to continue. 

My dream is to finish writing these stories I’ve lived, so that I can again be an open slate and experience new ones. Until then, I write endlessly.

Working on the Novel

A-Politico Absurdia

A few days ago, I stopped by the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado. The campus was pretty quiet and at first look, everything was a little too typical of a college campus. 

But then tiny blips of magic began to pop out to me: a stencil of Allen Ginsburg spray painted on the library drop off box, a sculpture of Kali hiding on the windowsill of the administration building, a geodesic dome greenhouse, a tattered poem about oneness with environment hanging from a willow tree. The students left offerings to the spirits and fairies of the Colorado wilderness. Their administration seemingly encourages this.

Under a giant sycamore, I found this little fairy altar. A small box with a poem about Hologram Reality on its roof, sheltering a little metallic angel and a giant quartz crystal. It felt more than appropriate to leave a copy of A-Politco Absurdia behind in this tiny fairy home for someone else to find.

A-Politico Absurdia is a manifesto written by Jozef Maguire and myself about the coming dream punk rêvelution of consciousness. It was released earlier this year, and took the last 5 years to assemble into its current dream-inspiring form. 

You can read more about it and download a digital copy here: http://bit.ly/APoliticoAbsurdia

A-Politico Absurdia