R.M. Engelhardt

The Half-Dead Poet Review: On Being a Poet in 2018

R.M. Engelhardt

The Honest Transmission

Receiving transmissions the poet becomes shaman, healer & psychic the words
if unrefined come of nature uncorrupted By style, teachers or rules,
pentameters and juxtapositions be damned. Poets like channels to the
innermost self and beyond to the streets and alleyways, the highways and
the chains of motion in the universe. We all contain the mystery of
thought, eternal and yet limited by our momentary capacities and the
conditions of our being. A sincere and perfect poem is like the birth of
any new child, when with eyes open for the first time we see the world and
all of its possibilities golden and yet vacant. That part of us missing
amongst the cosmos that we long to retouch once more and again. Divided by
language & religions, politics and other ridiculous primitive systems &
beliefs we now follow the monetary breadcrumbs of a brain-dead icon
society. People who many imitate or sadly, try to be
So Be Authentic.

Just Write.
Be You.

~ R.M. Engelhardt, 1994



“Being a poet isn’t something you are or choose. It’s something that
happens to you at irregular intervals and with no guarantee it will happen
again. You can disregard it when it does happen but you can’t turn it on.
All you can do is wait.”

~ Margaret Atwood



So have you ever thought about becoming or being a poet?
Not many of us have and to those of us who are poets it just happened and
along the way we may have chosen to be other things, chose other
professions that are far more reasonable like say being a doctor or a
professor, a lawyer or a plumber. But poets & writers come from all walks
of life and all places around the world. We didn’t ask for this. It just
happened at different ages and different stages of our lives and somehow we
picked up a pen or starting hitting keys on the typewriter or the laptop.
Maybe we read or heard something or someone who inspired us and we chose to
keep on writing. Wrote books, sonnets or rants, lyrics or stories. But
still, like I said it just happened one day like in that last episode of
Buffy The Vampire Slayer where Willow casts a spell using the slayer blade
and suddenly every chosen girl around the world has superpowers. Or maybe
it’s a part of us already. Passed down thru some ancestor we’ve never heard
of who was a shaman or a druid seer, the village storyteller or something
else like the drunk guy at the local pub. Fact is is that the capacity to
write poetry & create stories is in all of us. It’s a kind of magic. It’s a
part of being human and a part of our genetic makeup and the way our minds
work. People wake up everyday and they write. For some it’s they’re daily
routine and for others the words just come to them when they do.  I’m the
latter. No rituals or routines. Just the moment. Kerouac called it
“Spontaneous Prose”. Yeats? “Automatic Writing”. There is even an ancient
biblical term for it ” Masorah” which means channeling your voice, your
words through a spiritual place or entity. Years before I knew of this idea
or reasoning a few other writers named the interpretation of this process
themselves. I referred to it as the “Honest Transmission”. Either way it
all points back to the mysterious muse. That moment/that place in time
where suddenly all the words come to you. And that’s when they become a
part of you as well. Some people even see writing as a form of meditation.
“Words allow us to enter into new worlds. They allow us to inhabit new
spaces, evoke new feelings, receive different ideas and come to the see the
world differently. They also allow us to experiment with the creation of
those same things. The opposite is also true, familiar words can permit us
to reinforce boundaries that separate what is experienced as ‘me’ and
‘other’ and build and sustain allegiances, whilst creating distance from
all manner of forms and possibilities. Language is a network of
possibilities and worlds”

~ Ponlop Rinpoche



On Poetry & Being Authentic

So we’ve reached a few conclusions. That anyone can be a poet and that
anyone can write but what’s your philosophy behind the words you put down
on paper ?  As human beings we all communicate and express ourselves in
different ways and on different levels. Human beings in the 21st century
are made up of myths, resumes, texting and status updates. We are the stuff
of emojis & Instagram photos, urban legends & multiple languages. We are
selfies and self-loathing. Self-affirming and self-aware. Black, white,
transgendered & supportive. Corporate and professional. Corporate and
unprofessional. Overly political and still indecent. Male and female and
rewriting and reinventing language and the world. But don’t forget that we
are all made of stars. Ancient. For many years I have been a follower of
the philosophy of Shambhala. The ideas of a man named Chogyam Trungpa which
I admire. Trungpa was the author of “Shambhala: The Sacred Path Of The
Warrior” which was a book that spoke to me in volumes which I first read in
my early thirties. A philosophy which I adopted and that I refer back to
whenever I fall off the path. In fact, I would even go so far to say that
it’s influenced my poetry greatly. What matters? Who am I? All of these
questions evolve or depend upon what beliefs or creed you follow. Right or
wrong. Heaven or hell. Find your center. Find yourself. Never surrender.
It’s all there. But in all things, the most important thing is to be
authentic. Be you and write that way. Through your anger. Through your
sadness, misery love or hate. Your imagination is boundless and your words
are a sacred thing and don’t let others tell you they are not. Your
opinions matter. Your voice matters. Also, realize that poetry is not just
some hobby but the story of yourself. Your journey in journals. And when
you look back someday? Believe me, you’ll be amazed.

So Again:

Be Authentic.
Be Thankful.
And Be You.

So Happy New Year !

Write A Book! Fall in Love! Be Creative!
And Help Save The World From
Tyrants !

About The Author

1 thought on “The Half-Dead Poet Review: On Being a Poet in 2018”

  1. Great discussion on authentic poetry. The differences and similarities that all poets have. Truly poetic
    MzTU Poetry

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