Saturday, September 11, 2010

orion poems

i spent nearly three years working at a place called The Orion House. It's a residential placement facility for at risk teenage boys - mostly court mandated. i moved on from there about two years ago, give or take. it was easily the most maturing & challenging job i've ever had - very bitter-sweet. toward the end i started doing poetry workshops with a few of the guys, and it was amazing. they loved it and thrived in it, and soon there were more and more joining us. i think we maxed out at about eight or so (we held sixteen max). some of these kids were true poets - no lie. they were totally committed. set time apart to write and edit and share what they were developing with me. i was lovin' it. they let it all hang out and articulated some very personal things in their own original voices. i learned and grew as a poet a great deal. we did all sorts of exercises to get the whole group writing. we'd put on some good instrumental music, mostly mellow beats, and everybody would rattle off a word, and we'd jot 'em down on the board, and then everybody would have five minutes to write a poem using at least three of the words from the list. stuff like that. all kinds of combos and weird ideas developed over time. stuff like this is great because it forces you to write in ways that you otherwise wouldn't. and when you only have a few minutes to write and basically no time to edit, you start tapping into a different part of your brain. you start pullin' from your subconscious a bit i think and you have to let go and trust the process. all these tough guys packed into a small room - writing poetry - all bashful to share - finally reading and getting shouts and laughter and high fives. you could always feel the intensity and they never wanted to quit. and i didn't either, but i always had to close it down for dinner or bed or what have you. a totally cherished memory for sure. so...i wrote quite a bit of stuff during that time and recently came across what i still have. much of it seems odd, mainly due to the direction of the writing exercises and the quick judgement no edit approach. i'm gonna post one a day for a week or so. hope you enjoy ~ dougie fresh

orion no. 1

sensing all the cracks in my borrowed life,
i blow fierce the self-made wind
of controlled abandon:
one more borrowed breath
down the tubes
of this borrowed clarinet


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  2. I love this, man!!!!...I love the reoccuring theme of "borrowed". I love the pensiveness that this paints...a focus and freedom- concentration- within made music....Beautiful....and all this while shootin' from the hip?!?!?!? incredible

  3. oh...and I love the's like "Children's Psychedelic Guide to Modern American Gothic"...they're so somber...what ARE these kids' parents doing to them to make them sooo serious?