I've found a new favourite voice. I don't say favourite poet because I like him more than just for his poetry, and actually I'm only just starting to explore his works, but poking around his website I just like him. (Also although I find I have blogged poems several times, it still feels a bit pretentious to be talking about poetry. When you drop the presumptions and just enjoy the words, they can be hugely powerful and great fun.)
I love what he stands for, and I love the playfulness of the anagrams menu on his website - if you scroll over 'the link poems online', the words change to 'lonesome pin' - and I love that he is passionate about teaching and making people better. My kind of guy.
He says his poems are there to share, and that he's happy for people to perform them, as long as they give him credit. So I'm grateful to Ronnie Bruce for introducing me to Mali, but whilst the visuals were just stunning, the voice treatment didn't hit the mark for me.
If you don't like reading poetry, look at the video. Actually look at the video either way. And listen out for me using passages of this stuff in conversation, and in future blogs, because it is absolutely in the space of story: that is, be somebody, have something to say, use it to reach out to someone, and create something meaningful.
Enjoy. It's my pleasure to introduce you :-)
Totally like whatever, you know?
By Taylor Mali
In case you hadn't noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you're talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions? You know?
Declarative sentences - so-called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
as opposed to other things which were, like, not -
have been infected by a totally hip
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It's like what I've heard?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?
What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally . . .
I mean absolutely . . . You know?
That we've just gotten to the point where it's just, like . . .
And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness
is just a clever sort of . . . thing
to disguise the fact that we've become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since . . .
you know, a long, long time ago!
I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.