This is the introduction I wrote for mARK oWEns's reading on 21 May 2006 as part of the Spare Room reading series. mARK really doesn't have a web presence per se, alas. He is not even on the Facebook. I do not get to interact with him nearly enough these days.
We ask that you turn on your cell phones
We ask that you place your cell phones in your mouths and swallow them
We ask that when loved ones call you,
you raise your heads and you open your mouths
like hungry baby birds waiting to be fed
I watched the sun rise this morning
until it was a glowing letter O on the horizon.
[asemic mouth gesticulations]
It only took us four years to get him to read.
The intriguing graffito between our homes
that resembles schematics with letters: a poem
I meant to mention it for many months
until we walked by and you told me you wrote it.
It’s the most remarkable word I’ve ever seen
What is that smell? Has mARK been writing again?
In mARK’s neighborhood,
the chance of precipitation
is directly connected
to the chance of poetics.
A poem that you can feed to your family.
A poem that will keep you warm in the winter.
A poem that you can bounce off your friends’ heads.
Why are we all in the same room right now?
Why are we all walking down the same street this weekend?
Why are we all riding the same bus?
Why are we all able to perform these simple actions?
Why are we both on opposite sides of the window?
Why are we both in fact facing a window?
Love is the force that unites.
Nothing I have said and nothing I could say
could clarify or obscure or change this poetry.