Dear Poetry Lab,
In the past few years of playing with words, I have learned so much and still know so little. I began with screenplays and fiction, but when I was ready for a different sort of beautiful, you introduced me to a spectrum of colors, shapes, and sizes that I never before imagined could exist. I showed you love poems as personal expression and you showed me the scope and complexity of our alphabet.
You asked me, "why limit yourself?"
I responded with the ever juvenile "I don't know."
I have heard the exquisitely inaudible call of so many, but not enough voices. As Brendan Constantine once said, "Language infests your brain like a viral infection that has no cure." This infection has run deep through my own limbic system. I have invited it into my hypothalamus, my hippocampus, my amygdala, and throughout my autonomic nervous system. Where I most deeply feel. And I will continue cutting away until the immunity is completely gone:
He drew fingers like claws across his own scalp
from brow to back, eyes damned in hue
Language is a virus of the mind he said
When it takes
it takes everything.
Poetry Lab, you have gifted me with so many beautiful scars, I have given each a different name. Here are a few :
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to place some of my own thoughts among yours. Consider each post a love letter between poetry and the neurology of why, as I explore the 7 Emotional Systems of the Human Brain:
SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, GRIEF, and PLAY
Between poetry and the astrophysics of when the 4 Fundamental Forces made us who we are:
GRAVITATION, ELECTROMAGNETISM, THE WEAK, and THE STRONG
Between poetry and the 4 Natural Truths of secular Buddhism that describe how we can develop our minds and come to understand the beauty and intricacies of the human condition:
to understand WHAT SUFFERING is
to understand HOW WE CAUSE OUR OWN SUFFERING
to understand that to ELIMINATE THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING is to eliminate the suffering
to understand how to SUSTAIN MINDFUL EQUANIMITY
...Poetry Lab, this is how we will eliminate that which causes us to suffer.
Alejandro Duarte is a devoted father to four. He works with developmentally disabled adults through the Goodwill of Orange County. In the past, Alejandro has been a cab driver, a furniture designer, and a production manager in the fashion industry. Originally from Costa Mesa, CA, Alex lived sometime in Montevideo, Uruguay. Today, he is an active member of the Poetry Lab in Long Beach, CA, and the Poetry Salon, in Culver City, CA. His poems have appeared in TAYO Literary Magazine, Gutters & Alleyways, and the Unrorean, among others. Currently, he is working on a collection of poems called TaxiFly.