These are all some of my favorite inspirations, and also examples of some of the subject matter found in this issue of Advaitam Speaks Literary.
The landing page is my bio, please flip the page to read the two pieces I had featured here, as a couple of examples of my older work.
The auditory quality of my poetry is very important to me; I am guided more by sound than the sight or technical suggestion of particular words. When I set out to write a thing, it is largely a concerted listening that takes place.
As a small child I remember the way my mother’s face lit up when she described the flamenco dancers of Spain. In her youth before she had me she was an expat living in Madrid. She left her job at the museum in Manhattan and her visit turned to years and not wanting to come back. Her parents would sometimes go visit her there, my grandfather using his Italian to piece together communication in Spanish. My mother had only studied French before moving there; she learned through immersion, the best way to learn.
Years later, I took a long bus trip to southern Spain alone, and found Grenada to seem the real center of this scene. Climbing up skinny and winding roads with friends who lived there, we met an old man and his wife who had a small cafe tucked into the side of the mountain. He showed us old pictures and told us how he had played with Chick Corea years ago.
The small stage around the corner from my friends’ flat was the bottom floor of an old building. You could buy a glass of wine for a few dollars in cash, then take a seat on the bare benches. My friends went all of the time. The musicians were families, the dancer a mother, her son the singer, another son the guitarist. Their craft was passed down through many generations, tucked into these underground corners of an area steeped in long history yet always in flux: the pungence of the Morroccon spice market, the slippery cobblestone streets, the Alhambra and its surrounding gardens high in the hills. Down in the foothills, graffiti and small ponies grazing dry grass could be found in the same frame. Lemons grew in the trees and we climbed up to the roof of a building and looked out over the city.