Sunday, April 7, 2013

The 2 Worlds of Richard Broderick

I dunno............

Maybe its because it was Friday.

Maybe its because I had been up since 3 a.m.

It could be that the weather was determined not to break, and for the first time in my life, I felt as if Spring might be bypassed in its entirety.

I had just gotten off work, and it's around 4 p.m., and I'm sitting in the bread truck parked in the lot at Korte's Grocery talking on the phone.

The conversation was with a guy named Richard Broderick, and if my life depended on it.....I couldn't tell you, yeah I can, he wanted to know if I was going over to Poet Fergie's Pizza bake.

What are we, in the second week of April, right?

And small flakes of snow are floating down and melting on the parking lots asphalt.

I was deeply discouraged by the lack of sunshine. 

Richard Broderick is an interesting person to talk to for many reasons, one of which is that intellectually he's one of the sharpest people I...or you for that matter, will ever meet.

His mind is methodical and amazing.

Many times I revel in his opinions.

Other times I couldn't disagree more.

And sometimes it occurs to me that conversation wise.....I'm swimming in the deep end of the pool when I'm in his presence.

Sometimes he'll be in the middle of whatever it is he's discussing, and sometimes that portion of his topic might be 3 or 4 blocks beyond my comprehension.....but most of the times he'll see my wonder shrinking in the rear view mirror, and at that point he slams on the breaks, shifts into reverse and promptly backs up to my comprehension level.

It's good to have friends that challenges your mind.

It's good to have friends with bars set a view rungs higher than your own.

It's even better when that person also has the ability to make you laugh in the process.

The snow flakes are getting bigger now and small droplets of rain start to fall.

Then in a split second, it wasn't quite like a crucified Jesus sky, but almost....the sky grew very dark - really fast.

I had to chuckle because at this point  I half expected John Wayne to prance out in a centurion costume and announce.............

"Surely this must be the son of God."

Now I think the topic turned to Broderick's most recent obsession which is Dichos.

I don't want to come across like I am proficient on the topic, but from my Central or South America, often times people will paint ideals or slogans on their cars, maybe in the same way people in my country use bumper stickers.

So while Richard is explaining this and that about that and this...... the grocery store employees aren't necessarily giving me the evil eye, but they are kinda giving me the WTF are you doing sitting in a bread truck in our parking lot for 40 minutes....."don't you have anything better to do" look. 

Truth be dogs need to be let out to pee.

My stomach is grumbling, but I'm really locked into this insight and I'm nervous that once this conversation is terminated, I'll go back to life per usual where my focus will be stolen away by red head heads and box scores. now you've heard the build up to my epiphany.....and when Broderick said the following, I don't really remember the context, but I do remember that even though this idea he blurted out may have just been another thread in his Techno Color Coat of was kinda an anthem for me.....................

I will give to you my inspiration in poem form -


There are two worlds

The first world is the real world
In which most poets exist
Yet nothing there is real

The second world is reality

--- the end ---

Mr Broderick.......if you care to elaborate further......feel free, but you had me at "Yet nothing there is real."


  1. Danny Klecko: It was my turn, last night to be in awe of Mr Broderick's "way of mind" as we were discussing theater and other beautiful subject of great urgency like poetry! Thanks for this beautiful and humorous tribute!
    Yvonne PĂ©ralta

  2. Danny, I am deeply flattered -- and a little embarrassed that I kept you sitting in the truck when your dogs needed walking.

    We do, indeed, live in two worlds. The one we tend to label "the real world" is actually nothing more than a social construct, a projection of our received ideas, conventional thinking, fears, woundedness, greed. It is the world of hierarchies and power wielded through threats and addictive enticements. This world is a delusion -- but one that cannot be simply ignored because it has the power to inflict terrible punishments on those who turn their backs on it.

    Then, there is the real world that is the deeper reality of our interconnectedness, the banquet to which we have all been invited -- what I believe Jesus meant when he referred to as "the Kingdom." (I am not a Christian, but it is the tradition in which I was raised, and I feel a personal impulse to clear the name of jesus from the accretions and, indeed, outright contradictions of his teachings that have been imposed on him by Christianity).

    The "real world" corresponds to the material dimension in which our physical beings dwell. This dimension is governed by an economy of shortage -- there is only so much land, food, and wealth to go around; it is a zero-sum dimension in which, for the most, you only get more at the expense of someone else getting less. But reality -- the real reality -- corresponds to the spiritual dimension in which we just as truly live. It is governed not by an economy of shortage but by an economy of infinite abundance. Here, the more we partake, the greater the bounty. If you bestow love or compassion or forgiveness upon another creature, this does not reduce the balance of love, compassion and forgiveness available in the world -- in fact, it increases the amount of that love, compassion and forgiveness.

    How does this relate to poetry? Poets, like everyone else, live in both dimensions. But some lose sight of reality and become slaves to the "real world," dedicating themselves and their work to the objective of climbing the pecking order, to becoming "famous" (whatever that means when it comes to poetry in America), or "rich" (once again, whatever that means when it comes to poetry in America). As in any kind of artistic expression, motive matters. Sooner or later, these kinds of poets stop writing under inspiration and start writing as an act of will. They become users, become "Hi, how are you -- what can you do for me?" kinds of people who, ultimately, bring themselves and poetry itself into disrepute, just as crooked politicians pervert and discredit the otherwise noble impulse toward acheiving solidarity and empowering everyone to participate in creating a better world.

  3. The challenge for writers, it seems to ME, is to keep one foot in both worlds. A poem can't work if nothing is familiar in it -- like Dore drawing of Paradise. You have to steal up on this reality, building a ladder to it rung by rung, using bits of what we do know and can relate to. The dog scratching its throat with its hind foot, the milk on the stove bubbling over, the anguish of being majorly misunderstood on Facebook -- then BAM, a window sliding open onto what is real, our actual connection to one another, the bliss of breathing and knowing. But you need a pack a lunch.

  4. Klecko and I call this the Chinese method -- see, see, see, see, see -- cry! Or sigh, or step on a cat's tail.

  5. I think Ezra Pound tried to steal "see-see see-cry" from us Mike!