POETRY MONTH 30/30/30: Inspiration, Community, Tradition: Day 4 :: Tishon Woolcock on Orhan Veli Kanik
If the road taking us home
In the evenings
Is not a horrible thing
It reads like something your grandfather might say and that’s what makes it so effective. A good poem is a story that never gets old. It stays with you and no matter how often you tell it there remains the same spark of truth. In “People”, Kanik expresses a single thought simply and profoundly. The profundity is apparent upon first reading but the genius of it is a slow burn.
When I know you don’t love me.
I wish to see you
Like the people I saw
Sitting on my mother’s lap
As a kid…
Here’s my own poem, not exactly inspired by Kanik but in the same tradition.
if you come in last place
and still manage to break records
it’s all well and good
but sooner or later you’ll come to find out
that you’re only racing dead people
Read Orhan Veli Kanik’s book “I, Orhan Veli” online: http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~sibel/poetry/books/i_orhan_veli/
More on Orhan Veli:
Tishon is the founder of the independent press Well&Often and co-author of The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You: Poems (with Caits Meissner, who we’ll be hearing from tomorrow.) He has performed (poetry is totally performance) at Highline Ballroom, La Mama Theatre, LouderArts Reading Series, Bowery Poetry Club, and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Tishon lives in Brooklyn.