Friday, May 11, 2012

Jack Pot Poems - Meet Christopher Title

On rare occasions, a guy gets lucky enough to stumble into a poem that what written about something they know about.

At this very moment, I am supposed to be on my way home from work, I can just envision my dogs sitting on the couch, smoking cigarettes with their legs crossed because they have to pee so bad.

But just when I was ready to shut down my computer for the day, I saw that Christopher Title had posted a poem on Facebook.

Mr. Title in many ways is the "Dark Horse" in the Twin Cities poetry community.

He knows all the players, but he doesn't spend much time trying to climb literary ladders, he doesn't need to, he has his own.

For a few years he has hosted a monthly reading series called The Barbaric Yawp.

This event takes place on Sunday nights in a coffee house in Saint Paul, and Finley swears that this space is the most conducive to such events.

The poets actually get to stand on a stage which is elevated.

When I have been fortunate to present there, the audience must think that there's the animated "Baker Poet" who loves to express himself by swinging his arms around...what they don't know is I'm secretly imagining that I'm some kind of dictator or misunderstood world leader LOL.

But all kidding aside, although the space is really nice, the people who attend each month are even nicer.

In poetry and prose circles, the fan base can be pretty unpredictable and flimsy, but the "YAWP Regulars" really love their leader.

I think I've mentioned Mr. Title in a previous post, in regard to the fact that he is all about Walt Whitman.

Every showcase is led off with Chris offering up several musings from his favorite poet.


So I see this newest poem that Title posted, and it is all about the Como Zoo in Saint Paul.

You can tell from Title's observations and comments that the miracle of these creatures brings him to a almost spiritual place.

But I don't think he q-u-i-t-e gets there until he ties these creatures glory into himself, his family, and the experience they just had.

I don't know, maybe I'm reading too much into this, but when my kids were growing up, we went to the site of this poem every other Saturday for years.

After reading this poem a couple of times, I actually kinda chuckled.

This is easily a topic I may have attempted, but now I know longer have to think about it, because I certainly don't have anything better to say about it than what Chris has already shared with us.

Field Trip
by Christopher Title

I think I saw God at the Como Zoo

in the Amur tiger’s greyhound-like hips

and in the ratty flank of Selam,

an old female orangutan from Sumatra.

I think I saw God in the enclosure

of the unconcerned big horn sheep,

among the rip rap dumped in the middle,

and there in the snow leopard’s tiny aquarium.

I think I saw God along with an upside down

table umbrella floating with the harbor seals

and near the single greater kudu hoofing

at the cracked dirt. This was not odd.

I think I saw God because I saw us

at the Como Zoo as we truly are,

an archipelago of stranded animals

without any other options, like sweat bees

living on puddles of melted popsicles.

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