M. D. Friedman's Poetry Blog

Orignal poetry and reflections from one the internet's favorite poets.

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Location: Lafayette, Colorado, United States

M. D. Friedman is a poet, teacher, musician, photographer, digital artist and web master from Lafayette, Colorado where he resides with his wife, Mariamne Engle Friedman, and his son, Max.  In the spring of 2006 he retired from teaching in the public education factories to pursue the creative arts.  His fourth book of poetry, Where We Reach, was recently released and combines his poetry with his original photographs and artwork.

He is the founder of the Internet Poets’ Cooperative website which features over 20 free volumes of e-books from poets around the world and over 200 free audio recordings of dozens of Colorado poets reading their own work. His newest web site, http://www.digitaldada.org, represents an effort to explore the transformational impact of digital creation on common culture. His personal web site, http://www.mdfriedman.com offers access to all of M. D. Friedman’s creative ventures.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Amber



I found the poet’s flashlight
shining dark as honey through
the mouth of a dream,
welding everything together,
filling the mind with sweetness,
oozing over edges like tree sap.

In the cave of our love
by the touch of your skin
I find my way, I flicker
and flare in the warmth
of your arms, then all is gone
in a sputter of breath.

When the day fades, how precious are
these luminous moments together.
The poem slows it all down. Under
its thick, sticky baptism of amber,
the radiance of ebony keeps us
golden through the silky night.


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Friday, February 19, 2010

The Mathematics of Poetry

The Mathematics of Poetry

first starts to add up at two
with the irony that “pair”
is a single word

(all truth lies in paradox
except this one yet we persist
to resist that which contradicts)

by three our hope is constant
we formulate our own sign of redemption
an irrational trinity of rhythm sound and image

four is only suited for play
before its corners are stretched
from a perfect square into approximate roundness

rolled and half baked into a pie of three dimensions
five significant digits are left writing this tangent
as human touch lends a congruent hand

six is too close to sex for poets to ignore
while seven offers double rhymes
and eight an obvious pun

it does not stop
until nine not because
it is the German no

but because we can not
know more or less without
somehow starting over

good poems return us to our beginning
in infinite surprise even when we figure
out it invariably points to this end

(the imaginary derives what is missing)
another line taken in two directions
stressed or unstressed our ones and zeros approach forever

multiplying by their own radical rules never alone
or empty they give ration to rhyme or
not and without our lilting iambic

without the subtle enduring
babbling binary of the bard
we have nothing

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Know Where to Go Crazy, a Digital Poem by M. D. Friedman



Click to view Know Where to Go Crazy




Original poetry, sound art, visual art, photography, and animation by M. D. Friedman highlight this ground breaking video short. This work showcases a growing mastery of M. D.'s combined talents to produce experimental, experiential, electronic literature fusing several multimedia elements into a new genre of poetics. Featuring state of the art 3D animation, "Know Where to Go Crazy" (2009) is a two voice poem with the second voice heard animated into the viewer's head. 




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Forever Trespass




Click to View




"Forever Trespass” (2007) is a digital poem exploring the question, "Does the poem own the poet or the poet own poem?" The sound art for this piece was constructed from the 2D (2 directional) poem, "Forever Trespass". The "normal" voice is reading the poem vertically (down the columns) and the "harmonized" voice is reading the same poem horizontally (across the rows). The video was made by animating my photographs and digital art and integrating it with the original sound art.








 


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Digging The Graves Grow Bigger...

Review by M. D. Friedman

Jared Smith portrays the gritty reality of the modern American Dream in his latest book, The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations (Higganum Hill Books 2008). His heartfelt, bare-knuckled imagery sticks with you like a warm bowl of stew. His command of language consistently startles you like a wet sheet popping in a summer wind. Sometimes stark, sometimes gentle, Jared makes what is real more real, makes vivid what is hidden, and finally sets us back on our own feet to find our own way.
The opening poem of the volume, "A Silver Zipper," invites us each to look inside:
Whatever is hidden burns brightest
when the time of counting shadows end.

This poem introduces one of the major themes of the volume: how we all strive to beat our own mortality, and how all humans intuitively sense there is something more than the years we have here. It suggests there is an innate greatness to living that endures beyond the things we make and build in our own time:
Most of life is waiting for what comes in.
Most of what comes in was here before.


Beyond the buildings are estuarine islands
where a tall bird waits expectantly.


In the haunting, vernacular, title poem, "The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations," Jared weaves history and legend to further develop this theme.
I swear I'm going to remember this, and forget the graves,
and forget the markers and forget the names, but I'm going to remember
the smell of furniture polish on old oak banisters, and the dust of books,
and the coolness of old stone buildings in sleepy towns on summer days.
I'm going to remember the too bright eyes of small blonde girls
with their forced bright smiles in silent public rooms and archives
and I'm going to keep on rolling along across America unmarked,
taking the hand of each one and sweeping her off her feet,
making love with each one at the least expected time
and filling my heart with her smile and with her memory
because there is nothing larger than this that I can imagine:
the depth of shadowed rooms, a silent ray of light, purple flowers
and a woman's touch. The graves get ever bigger
from one generation unto the next.

Through this blue collar, grayscale narrative, Jared reveals a profoundly black and white truth. It is how we live that is important, not how we die.
Having so epically explored our fascination with immortality, Jared turns his pen to our difficult relationship with nature. In "Life at the Margins," he notes the irony that no matter how much damage humans do to nature, we will always be integrally linked.
We are a part of so much that is born of sun,
even as we roll away into the watch of space
devoid of hope. The shadows too are lighted.


Jared quickly expands this irony to include how human society invariably damages our own nature. In "Having Never Wanted To Own The Business," he brilliantly describes our human compulsion to own what we do with the metaphor of working away our lives trying to run a business.
A man is 26 miles of intestine stretched above a desk,
running multiple times to the snack machine and urinals,
a sensory input in an electronic web of phone calls to the infinite.
My years are gone.


Once again Jared looks to the strange miracle of our existence for an answer. In "To Be Alive," Jared articulates our situation with the words:
because what else are you going to do with
a universe when all its guts are emptied out.

He then humbly placates our plight with:
I too wish I knew what to do and how to cope,
and sometimes I think that in itself is enough
to be alive.

Throughout this manuscript, Jared challenges the poet to deal with modern societies' major issues. As we travel his landscape of sinew and gears, of transparent shadow and unifying light, we soon realize that, for Jared, it is imperative that culture live up to its responsibility, that poets have a sacred duty to lead us out of the all consuming cycles of self-poisoning and emptiness. Jared throws down his gauntlet to contemporary poets in his poem, "Why Put Up With This Anymore?"
there are ultimately no others who can come before you
whether it is by spoken words or written ones, Poet,
I cannot understand why you hang your head down
and skulk in alleys eating poverty with your words.


In this collection Jared swims through the complex floods of modern life, bobs with the joys and heartbreaks of love, and reaches for the glittering surface above greed and regret. He treads in a world of concrete and flowers, of wires and sunsets, of metal and bees, with the grace and vision of a poet seeking only the truth simply put.
It's not like street yard baseball, this poetry thing anymore,
where you used to lean back with whatever piece of wood you found
lying around and hit each clunker of coal as far as it would go.

With The Graves Grow Bigger Between Generations, Jared Smith has hit one out of the park!

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