Friday, July 29, 2011

Nocturnal Omissions: A Tale Of Two Poets

This book began as a comment on Facebook--an off-hand remark about how much I owed to the work of one man--multi-talented writer, editor, lyricist, chef, and porn star Gavin Geoffrey Dillard. That ethereal comment did not go unnoticed.

Apparently, both Gavin and God are always watching. Unlike God, Gavin had the affectionate grace to send a non-entity like me a note. So, I sent one back. He replied. And so on. This correspondence evolved into an exchange of poems--loving, longing, erotic, spiritual, philosophical, funny and sad--that has been edited and introduced by poet Michael Lassell and published by Sibling Rivalry Press as Nocturnal Omissions: A Tale Of Two Poets.

For two months, Gavin and I wrote a poem to each other each day. At the end of those 60 days, Gavin flew from Maui and I from New York City, and we met in the Holy City of San Francisco--our lavender Byzantium--for a meeting of mouths and minds that culminated in a naked poetry reading before an audience of media scholars at the National Communications Association's annual conference last year.

Stylistically, the book is framed as a series of epistles from a young and inexperienced apprentice of verse (myself) to an older and wiser and infinitely patient teacher (Gavin). In it, we assume different identities: Shiva, John Keats, a vase, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Emily Dickinson, Ulysses, an ancient stuffed duck, old goats, Hobbits, Wizards, Diane Arbus, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Emperor Hadrian, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, and many others. But we never lose sight of each other. We give voice to men and women, gay and straight, fictitious and real, their desires and disappointments, tracing the lineage of love back to the beginning of all things.

If our effort stands for anything, I hope it will be regarded by the reader as a leap of faith: a plunge into the uncertainties of the future. Because, even in that lonely abyss, against the odds and your own expectations, like us, you may be surprised to wake in the arms of another--equally aroused--equally astonished--as yourself.

No comments: