Poor Little Rich Poet Seeks Next Road Trip. Inquire Within.
“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.” –Henry Miller
I went to the bank yesterday. Good thing, too. Because it turned out I had $33.23 in my checking account. And a whopping $4.27 in my business account.
Many moons ago, this would have been cause for alarm. Disgust. Fear. Shame.
Not now. In fact, I strolled into that bank downright giddy. And left the same way.
And trust me, it wasn’t because I made a Giant Deposit. Far from it.
No, dear readers. This here poet is poor. Yet rich. Oh so filthy stinking sexy rich.
To quote The Immortal Poet Mike D, “How can you be so skinny…and live SO FAT?”
No, it’s not because I’m The Maestro. And I don’t have anything close to a Beastie Bank Account (unless you define Beastie as “scary”).
But dammit, I feel blessed beyond bank. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past four years or so reducing and releasing possessions, attachments and desires. Or because my blossoming yoga practice continues to provide me with an inner and outer peace, sexiness and presence. Or because I know so many amazing, inspiring, passionate people. Or channel so much of my energy (the good and the bad and the ugly) through poetry and performance.
Or maybe I’m just a Mad Yogi Poet. Emphasis on the “Mad” part.
I dunno. And I don’t really care. All I know is I am very, very happy these days. And that, more than ever, I “get” where Mr. Miller there was coming from.
It was a bit over three years ago that I sort of stumbled upon The Henry Miller Library during an incredibly inspiring, illuminating and healing trek through Big Sur. Just six months or so removed from my Drinking Days (Daze?) and with just a few yoga classes under my belt, I hadn’t even written or performed ANY poetry since my time as a Golden Domer. And I still had a fairly comfortable (in both salary and work load) gig as an advertising & marketing copywriter. So I was less a Mad Yogi Poet, and more a Mad Man. Minus the highball glass and pressed suit.
Yet I found myself sitting outside the Big Sur Post Office. Chowing on a bean, rice and cheese burrito. Penning passionate poetry. Then, later that evening, releasing it into the endlessly erotic California night.
Mmmmmmmmmmm. That felt goooooooooood.
I’ve only made it back to Big Sur once since then, around a year and a half ago. And too much of my time has been spent since on my couch or in a coffee shop, type type typing away. Dreaming up new ideas. And yes, often worrying about finances.
Welcome to life in America, circa 2010.
But recently, just before that trip to the bank, I found myself on a beautiful, blissful, brilliant four-day yoga-poetry-love bender.
It started with a Serious Primal Passionate Poetic Explosion on 10-10-10. After picking up copies of my homemade Mad Yogi Poet blog flyers, I was compelled to write and film a new Random Act of Poetry here in my adopted hometown of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. In it, I ask women to please save their breasts – and better yet their lives – by focusing on their BREATH.
Then, I raced to my beloved yurt, where I penned and read spontaneous poetry at a wonderful yoga + art collective organized by my beautiful and talented friend Maggie Orli. I was totally in my element. Surrounded by artists, yogis and yoginis. Writing poetry. Soaking in the good vibe of the yurt. Hell, I even collected a few bucks in donations in my colorful tip jar.
After that, it was off to L.A. for some precious treasured hours and moments and early birthday celebration with a Magical Musical Amazing friend. Then, off to Santa Barbara, where the next morning, I practiced yoga at Santa Barbara Yoga Center with the great Kristin Jordan. After class, we wrote some spontaneous poetry, then captured it on camera in some fun, creative ways.
Then, it was off to Ojai. It was about this time that I began to really feel like I was pulling off some sort of Yogic Kerouac 2.0 thing, only on a much smaller and tightly compressed scale. I think I filmed three more poetry videos that day, including two that just came to me spontaneously while exploring this stunning little spiritual center. I even started introducing them as “On The Road Edition” poems. Word.
One of them was an “On The Road”-inspired haiku I called “The Open Road.” And it goes like this:
The Open Road
Oh, the Open Road!
no telling where it takes you
blaze your own bold trail…
I only stayed in Ojai for part of the next day, but it was long enough to soak in an incredible and invigorating morning practice at the ultra funky Lulu Bandha’s, under the direction of the hyper-creative and clever studio owner, Kira Ryder. How cool is Kira? Well, she has a beginner’s level yoga class called Stiff White Guys.
Something within was telling this Loose White Guy to return home after that class, but not before filming another video, this time of my poem “Ojai”. I originally wrote this back in March during a yoga retreat in Ojai with the passionate Jennifer Pastiloff. This time around, I performed it in front of this uber-rad rustic THE OJAI VALLEY sign, before realizing that I had best head back downhill to refuel my Passionate Poetry Mobile (aka 2009 Honda Accord).
Besides, I had handed out, posted and placed all 50 of my Mad Yogi Poet flyers by that time. And I had to return home to get at my laptop. So I could write this blog. And build my fundraising page for Random Acts of Poetry. To keep The Poetic Revolution rolling – both here and on the road.
To my great delight, this endeavor was rewarded within a few hours, by none other than my dear friend Janie Hoffman, founder of the excellent and environmentally aware new Mamma Chia beverage. Then, my dear friend and yoga teacher Lindsay Fields chipped in.
I’ve written recently about how I am just ON FIRE lately. And this trip only reconfirmed that for me. I want to do new, bold and inspiring things. I want to write whole new chapters. I want to push, lick and self-address stamp the envelope. Not just with and for me. But with and for others.
I want to share this Passion. I want to co-create Poetry. And yes, I want to make a little money along the way.
So if you feel like you’re on board with what you’ve seen/heard/felt with and from me in this blog and/or on Random Acts of Poetry, feel free to chip in with a donation. Or tell friends who might want to join in on the fun(d). If you’re a yoga teacher and you want to partner with me to co-create yoga + poetry or yoga + writing or yoga + art workshops, holla at yer boy. I’d love to hit the road and take this thing outside of the confines of California (though it’s hard to beat this Great Golden State).
If not, that’s cool too. Because I’m already Rich. Beyond belief.
And while I may not be on the open road as I type this, my heart and mind and soul are still out there, floating around. Happy. Wild. Passionate. Free…