(Soma)tic Poetry Ritual and resulting poem

EQUINOX EVE:  Silent Meeting Group

–for Allison Cobb& Jennifer Coleman

“I like to listen to new age music at heavy metal decimals!!”


Over seven billion human beings live on Earth now.  We have displaced or made extinct so many other species of animals, insects and plants that we have actually lost track!  In the age of Emily Dickinson less than a billion humans were alive and wild bison roamed the open plains of the United States.  Today there is just a small group grazing in Yellowstone National Park, and those were put there to be wild on purpose.  They are museums of fur and hooves.  We love our museums, they comfort and soothe us when we feel uncertain of the choices we have made.

This (Soma)tic ritual gets us a little closer to how strange and troubled we humans are.  I made a flier and hung it all over Philadelphia:

5pm to 6pm
2nd floor couch area of
(2nd St. & Market St.)

Do not fear LOOKING at these people.  The kinds of people who show up will understand, and will be looking at YOU as well! Look at how WEIRD our world can be!  What are we conveying without speaking?  As much as 80% of human communication is nonverbal, remember this detail.  As soon as the hour is up, casually walk away WITHOUT TALKING!  NO TALKING!  GO, GET GOING, GO SOMEWHERE where you can sit and quietly take account of your silent meeting. Take the quiet with you to write a poem.



dear glen of


I would have

your abortion

not being devoted to the way

things appear

you want me to

be fearless but

I cannot relax in

your world I can

go home where

success collides with

all the bad

behavior that

fed me to the

tyranny of the


you ask if

I think


was queer

I say the love of

hisJuliet and his

Romeo was as

outlaw as it gets

devoted to theway

things are means the

odds are bad

sometimes white men

with long hair nod to

me downtown because

I’m a white man with

long hair

you think

having your

abortion means

I love you

what can

I say


CA Conrad is the author of several books of poetry, and he is a 2011 PEW Fellow, a 2012 UCROSS Fellow, and a 2013 BANFF Fellow. He is also a 2012 and 2013 visiting faculty member for the Summer Writing Program of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Issue One, May 1st, 2013 | Matter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s