Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.

“I have no liking for prisons, Master Li. Sometimes I suspect that we build our traps ourselves, then we back into them, pretending amazement the while.”
• Dream addresses Master Li (SANDMAN #74, The Exile)

There is another great quote in this issue regarding the evasion of responsibility but for now we will stick to the idea of traps, a thread that recurs through the run of Gaiman’s SANDMAN as Orpheus, a being equal parts function and devise, is quite attune to the nature of tools.

This is where I find myself today as I sweat over a manuscript that is trying to find a clear voice on the page but more often that not remains reactionary to the voice of the stage with my early writing entrenched in the first person narrative “I got a story to tell ya” voice of slam and my later pieces doing a 180 degree turn that has me running backwards from performance poetry.

I am also feeling quite foolish at the idea that I could whip up a manuscript in a relatively short time. This was going to happen sooner or later and I am glad that it’s happening now because I want to return to the point where poetry is in my mind all the time.

I have spent the last three years wearing multiple poetic hats- writer, editor, curator, host, promoter, self-promoter and performer. The last one is becoming a role that I am slowly walking more and more away from. At one point, I was on a 39 month streak where I was featuring somewhere or the other at least once a month. Current features lined up for 2006—One. And I am thinking of dropping that one as well.

None of this takes away from what I consider makes me a poet but it does signal a shift in how I am going to be attacking my poetry this year with journal submissions replacing featured gigs as my main impetus for writing. The toughest part of this will be the visualization of a core audience and how they will hear the poems in the mental stage I will be constructing since I sill feel the oral tradition of poetry is very key to my poetic voice and how I feel poetry, in general, should be experienced.

More to come later but for now, I got work to do.

• Master Li asks Dream a final question
(SANDMAN #74, The Exile)
“Lord — what was it the barbarian said, as the riders vanished?”

“‘Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.’ ‘Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.’ Fare you well, Master Li.”

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  1. ob, so you know what i’m going to say about oral tradition and page. not in binary opposition is all. good luck on the ms.


  2. we’re all waiting for something phenomenal. it’s all good–the trepidation, the uncertainty, the arguments who have with your own voice. when the smoke clears, don’t be surprised if you find yourself rooted squarely where you began. we love you there.

    after all…

    ya got a story to tell us.

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