As yesterday was Poem in Your Pocket Day, part of the annual festivities associated with National Poetry Month, I am delighted to share a little something. Rather than sifting through my inbox folder of poems I read online or picking up a favorite poet’s work (Julia Kasdorf Spicher, Elizabeth Bishop, William Stafford, Wisława Szymborska, Anna Akhmatova, Jane Kenyon and Lisel Mueller all come to mind, if you’re interested), I’m going to share the poesy of Jonah Caedmon Estes.
Sure, he’s not trying to make poems, but the way that language comes out of him often borders on the poetic, if not the profound. To be faithful to our day-to-day experience, just as often his vocal trippings approach inanity and outright annoyance (in terms of my ability to tolerate the repetition and pitching of words and voice), but as with any being human, what he says is worth paying attention to.
This is way too much build-up. It’s just that I write down the things that he says, and this particular sentence astonishes me. He was trying to get some idea or plan across to John; I don’t remember the context. I just heard the words come out of his mouth and trotted off to my computer to get them down before I forgot. Reading it now, I see I should probably tattoo it on my arm.
You act that you don’t
know what I am but I am
what I’m trying to be.
Jonah Caedmon Estes
(line breaks by Jennifer Jantz Estes)
[Click HERE to see some amazing and unique animation that visually renders “my Jonah”,
as Gabriel likes to say. Jonah loves talking about his brain.]