Monday, July 14, 2008

Yoga Poetry

I have been up till 3 every morning writing, like my old self.  Always thinking there's not enough night,  as Kerouac said, "Not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night."  Most of the writing is not anything I want to post to a blog, but is being downloaded instead to the cells inside my head and heart, making up the novel I'm constantly writing, the epic poem of my own psychology and physiology.  I really think we're all stories, walking around in the guise of humans with so-called barriers of skin.
In addition to writing, my summer has been dedicated to yoga.  I've been pivoting around the back injury which stopped my story in its tracks with a big Period.  last November.  I've crawled into that injury and am trying to listen to it and respect its yes' and no's.  It was hard to slow down, and now I'm moving at a slower pace in my Vinyasa, taking things into the windows of my eyes and heart like a slow Sunday drive, no longer the Friday night rush I used to ride on the mat.

If our bodies are stories, is Yoga poetry in motion?  I'm thinking Vinyasa Yoga is like free verse poetry, a flow of constantly changing elements in a dance of personal expression.  And Ashtanga is like form poetry, with freedom to be found in the repetition of strict form.  I used to feel stifled by such form, but have broken through to the freedom there, find myself resting in the foundation of knowing the externals of what comes next, to fly in the internals of never knowing...wings sprouting from roots.  In both poetry and yoga, whatever form you choose matters, and breath matters, the pauses between movements or words hanging heavy as summer fruit...

Walt and I have always been on close terms...reading those Leaves of Grass and feeling him under my bootsoles.  I came across this good ol' quote the other day and think, even though W.Whitman had a Buddha Belly which would be tricky to maneuver into a headstand, he was a yogi, a nomad seeker reading the stories of flesh and fluency constantly pulsing on the city streets like one, long, run-on sentence.....

"This is what you shall do:  Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church and dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body......"
-Walt Whitman