Tuesday, July 30, 2013
"Everything is a story we tell ourselves about who and what we are, and who and what everyone else is, and what we must do, and what we ought to do and why we ought to do it. Each of us has a story, or many stories, and each of us in one way or another is the leading character in the life and death narrative we play out with our lives in our languages. If there are problems, it isn't usually because we have erected ourselves as the main character in our story, so much as because we are unwilling to embrace the possibility that at its source it is all a inspired collaboration."
- BILLY MARSHALL STONEKING
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Words come to life in human voice, the same way that stories come to life in their telling. They require the voice - our voice - that most ancient instrument of the human, being human. When I first started performing my poetry, many years ago, people would come up to me after a reading, and say: "you made those poems sound better than they really are." I could never understand that sort of comment. To me, I simply gave them the sound they had, using a voice that loved their words, their rhythms, their music. Words are lures for feeling, and so are stories. When they are alive in the mouth that speaks them, that plays them, they draw us all into the old circle that humans have always made for themselves every time they have allowed a story or a poem or a song, its voice. They wait on us, patiently, with our seemingly interminable silences, hoping for a chance to be heard, to make some palpable shape in a world that - without out - might otherwise fade and die. The world is changed by them, and and so is the sayer, the teller, out of whose mouths they come to life. All the best writing is for the ears, not the eyes. - Billy Marshall Stoneking