Yesterday morning I used skype credit to place a call to my friend Alex Eble, who is 12 time zones ahead of me, doing research in China this summer for his PhD in Economics. When I reached him, he told me he was in a village he had first visited 9 years ago!
Alex isn’t able to top up phone credit til he is back from the rural area so we couldn’t talk for long, but we caught up briefly and then I read him a poem, “Opposing Forces,” from This Planet is Doomed: The Science Fiction Poetry of Sun Ra, a collection I recently picked up at the Strand.
If you’re not familiar with Sun Ra, you should be. Jazz composer, musician, bandleader, conscientious objector, filmmaker, “Afrofuturist,” philosopher & poet. The collection of poems is permeated with far out wisdom & some really big picture thinking.
I couldn’t find the full poem online, but there’s an earlier version of the poem (formerly titled “Foolish Foe”) on google books. Screenshots below.
I had so much fun reading the poem to Alex I ended up reading it to another friend yesterday evening before I went to bed. I have a feeling that might be the biggest challenge of this project … once I start reading poetry, I don’t want to stop!