dispersing & reflecting light through poetry

Archive for February, 2015

RED: an introduction

I was born Scott Daniel Massey. There was no christening or baptism, that was not a part of our family tradition. Just a name on a birth certificate qualifying my moniker for all purposes public and private. I believe I have been a poet most of my life. It is only recently that I have taken it seriously.

I don’t normally share the process; I like to wait until a piece or project is complete and I am satisfied with it before anyone else sees or hears it. With this chapbook project, RED, I would like to start showing readers what I’m working on, what’s currently done, and some of how I got there. In this blog, I will not only spotlight some of the poems to be included in the chapbook, but I will discuss some of the forms I use, the themes within the poems, and some of the research I used.

I don’t believe I have ever seen a book of poetry in which the poet discusses their own work. It’s usually just left for the reader to figure out. And I suppose that’s okay for those who get delight from meditating upon the words and the process of determining meaning. But I think that is also why more people don’t enjoy poetry. We don’t get it, don’t know how to get it, and don’t have the time to get it.

One of my goals as a poet is to write poetry that is accessible without being trite. I would like my readers to find enjoyment in the poem the first time they read it without having to dig too far for meaning: the emotional impact, the rhythm and music of the words, the imagery–something; and yet have more within the words to uncover, to explore.

I would also like to be up front with you. This blog and the proposed chapbook contain explicit Christian topics. If the discussion of God, Jesus, the Bible, the cross, sin, or any other openly religious or spiritual theme offends you, read no further.

Enough chat. I give you the title poem, “Red“:

by Scott Daniel Massey

cinnamon imperials and Atomic Fireballs
cheap Valentines
puckered lips
a slapped cheek
ink and tape
capsaicin, present in the placental tissue
     that holds the seed
     of the habernero
fire alarm bells
     in middle school hallways
luna de sangre
Madagascar tomato frogs
the words of Jesus
ripe apples hanging
Rosse Buurt
tail lights
STOP signs
spilled blood
the feast of martyrs

The speed of red: 400-480 THz.
The heart rate during sex: up to 180 beats per minute.
The span of man: 70-80 years if lucky, mid 20’s during war.
The time it takes blood to oxidize: instantaneous.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

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