The last poet of the regular season of Ring Ring Poetry is William Waltz, Editor in Chief of Conduit Magazine. His poem is set in Saint Paul’s Hidden Falls Regional Park, right along the Mississippi River. The poem is rife with imagery, man and animal butting up against each other, trading places and treading closely. The piece is short, so if you want to listen to it over and over and etch the moments into your eyelids and eardrums, I won’t tell anyone. Phone (612) 223-POEM to hear the piece. I was really happy how all of the poets from this season used nature and city in surprising and beautiful ways, and William’s poem was no exception.
When I decided to involve other writers in the proposal for this project, Kyra Calvert’s voice was one of the ones, I had on a short list of people I’d really like to contribute, not because she’s a big famous name in any of the twin cities writing scenes just yet, but because she has a voice that deserves to be listened to- and because I hadn’t heard it in a while. There will always be reluctant artists, through insecurity, disinterest, distraction, or the belief that a human must follow a certain course of achievements in order to have paid their dues. I don’t presume to know what Kyra has been up to, but I’m glad to reached out to her and you’ll be glad you listened to her.
Kyra brings something that you won’t hear in the other poems of Ring Ring- a poem less in love with its location. Why should we assume that every place in the Twin Cities deserves odes? Kyra reads with great emotion, and tells a uneasy story without a moral, or a neat bow to tie it all together gently and sweetly. You owe it to yourself to listen to this beautiful, uncomfortable piece. 612 223-POEM.
966 S Mississippi River Blvd, St Paul, MN
Brian Beatty’s poem is short and lovely, and takes place at the old Ford Motor Plant that they’re tearing down starting Monday, June 10. It’s worth trying to go and listen to Brian’s poem wherever you can get near the old Ford Plant while they’re tearing down the plant, because this is a lot of what his beautiful little peace is about: that which is temporary, and will be reclaimed.
Brian Beatty’s jokes, poems and short stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications. His limited edition humor chapbook DUCK! was published in 2009. He has a poetry chapbook, Earliest Bird Calls, due out from Ravenna Press sometime in 2013. Brian hosts the monthly literary podcast “You Are Hear” and writes the “The Columnest” twice each month for mnartists.org.
Union Depot 214 4th St E St Paul, MN (Stand under the clock facing the Greek restaurant).
I wanted to write another Choose Your Own Adventure poem for Ring Ring Poetry, but one where the choices were emotional ones. I also wanted to sneak a poem into Northern Spark without applying. I wasn’t so much worried about getting in, so much as I missed the application deadline, and Ring Ring isn’t so much about asking permission.
So I went to the Union Depot two weeks ago and spent some time in the building. It was almost entirely empty at the time, and may be when you go to listen to this poem, unless you’re also going to see all of the things that are Northern Spark. I’m including a few photos from that day in the quiet, empty depot. Phone (612) 223-POEM to hear this poem.
Mounds Park, 10 Mounds Blvd, Saint Paul, MN
I’ve known Adam (See More Perspective) for a handful of years now, and it’s jaw-dropping how his creative work is deepening, crystalizing the expressions of his spirituality into something that is really tangible and relatable. I was really interested in having Adam’s voice involved in the project, seeing how he tackled the project, and was really impressed. Adam’s piece is worth experiencing in Mounds Park- the interaction is beautifully done and a lovely way to allow audiences to really immerse and involve themselves in the poem. Even if you’re unable to visit Mounds Park, read up a little about it here and then call 612-223-POEM. -Cole
I’ve recently been announced as a semifinalist for the Forever Saint Paul Challenge for the “one million dollar idea” (!!!). I love Saint Paul (That doesn’t mean I don’t love Minneapolis, if you were wondering. The cities are twins and are bound together in time and fate). My idea has to do with art monuments that exemplify our rich cultural histories and how they’ve intertwined with what might sometimes seem like unlikely strands. The project would start by collecting oral histories of neighborhoods all around the city, going as far back into the story of the land and people as possible and finally, erecting a piece of art in a central location with that story and potentially some additional digital “extras”.
In a way, this poem begins that sort of thinking about a place. All that history, all those families and communities, are right here. History is not as far as it seems. It’s ubiquitous and vast of course, but it’s all right here. Right now. We cannot be separated from those that have come before us. Many that have come before us still live in homes we did not make for ourselves. My Saint Paul Challenge idea is about ownership, identity and perspective. I like to think this poem has something to offer in regards to those things.
There’s not a lot I can say about this poem that isn’t already in it, but there might be a few things not explicitly stated. When project designer/mastermind Cole asked me to contribute (and where I might write a poem from), I knew it was Mounds. Everything in that introduction is true. The gas station sandwiches, the dates and thunderstorms, BBQs, and all the rest. I’ve known this place for a long time. When I decided where to write about, I knew I had to dig. I couldn’t just write a piece about “how pretty it is” or how “it’s a special place for me”. I needed to mine every ounce of honesty that I could about this place. It goes in a lot of directions from there, but the rest is in the poem.
Speaking of how much I love Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Minnesota over all, Today also marks the day of another new release. I’m right in the middle of releasing a new series of EPs that represent each of our four seasons. It started last year with ‘FALL FORWARD’, continued with ‘BRAIN FREEZE’ and is picking back up now with ‘FOOD FOR THAW’, which is being self released today, for free at www.seemoreperspective.com. Also be sure to check out “The Cosmos According to Your Closed Eyes”, a new full length album of spoken word poetry and music, coming out in September (and available for presale from me in person!)