Unspoken Word
February 14, 2023
Happy Valentine's Day to You!

Here is an inspiring Valentine's Day slide show for you. Includes 21 wonderful quotes on love and vocals by Daya Rawat.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2023
The Lost Journals


Upon moving from Woodstock to Catskill, New York last year and getting quite a workout lifting, carrying, tossing, selling, and noticing way too many possessions, I came across three boxes in the garage of old journals of mine -- some going back more than 40 years -- moon howling rants, late night ramblings, incantations, Rumi-infused ecstasies, madman utterances, lists, plans, notes, drawings, and other outtakes from own suburban Mahabharata.

I thought of throwing them out, not wanting to pray at the Golden Calf of Memory, but something stayed my hand and so I lugged them to my new abode.

Usually, when I lug these journals around, as I have been been doing for 40 years, I stash them in a closet or a basement. But since I have only one small closet and no basement here in the town that time forgot, I removed them from their boxes and placed them on a bookshelf in front of my desk -- my feral children, my orphan brothers, my mendicants, madmen, and monks.

Mitch Ditkoff.jpgEvery day that I look at them, at least their spines, hesitating to pull them off the shelf, not wanting to disappoint what remains of myself with the half-baked jibberish of my soul's longing to express the ineffable.

There's something in me that prefers the honeymoon phase of life -- the realm in which the promise of love is so much more magnificent than the earth plane experience of it.

Anyway, I totally get that there is no excuse for not opening these journals and seeing what's in them, even if the perfectionist in me gets hugely disappointed.

And so, this evening, that's exactly what I did.

I opened the green one and paged through it until I found something I wrote that was close enough for prime time to share with you today.

I cleaned it up a bit, removed some of the clutter and self-indulgence that has stalked me most of my life and wrote...

And so here it is for you, my friends. I'm not really sure what it is.

It's not poetry. It's not a story. It's not a prayer. It's not a song. It's not going to make it to my next book. It's more like a sand mandala of words that came to me like a flock of home bound birds, a murmuration of my soul.

Here goes:

"What this existence is all about -- my own self-invented scripture no one will ever read -- needs no jabbering disciples to argue its fine points over what I meant by saying nothing, the next day congregating, as they like to do, just a little too studiously and debating whether or not we should start our own religion.

Yes, indeed, it was that kind of moment I was having!

So I grabbed what used to be a tree where birds sang and opened it to a random page and wrote, my sudden revelation taking form, a kind of kidnap letter to myself, though there was no me, no my, no mine, just the caretaker of a sacred knowledge every jazz musician since the beginning of time knows in their bones.

That's what I'm talking about, brothers and sisters -- why animals get agitated just before a tsunami and I am left homeless with only my breath held high above the heads of anyone who has ever prayed without words or played, Jerry Lee Lewis-like, an upright piano, alone in a room, the bouncer at the door, a heavy-lidded man with a scar on his cheek, refusing to let anyone in, him not wanting anything I play to be misunderstood or any side conversations going on, my left hand not knowing what my right hand is doing, the night shift cleaning up, as the space between day and night opens wider, a kind of red sea parting in the underground kingdom of love.

I must say, with all due respect, I was a bit surprised at how little of what I knew to be true made it to the page, writing as I was with a kind of invisible ink, with still the faintest glimmer of wanting to say something meaningful enough to sign my name to and feel good enough to die.

Space. Lots of space. There was lots of space. And lots of silences between the space, each one an orphan from a place now spinning in great circles around me.

What did I write that night in the underground kingdom of love, bouncer with the scarred cheek standing guard at the door, letting no one in?

What holy hieroglyphic made its way to the page, my right hand twitching, my left hand hitchhiking elsewhere?

Are you sitting down, my friend? Are you ready to receive the shortest scripture ever written?

Four words. That's all I wrote that night, none of them longer than four letters -- one of them only two, my entire revelation a kind of speechless tourist meeting Miles Davis, backstage, on opening night, with only enough time to say hello."

Why I wrote my newest book of poetry

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2023
Who Can I Share My Joy With?

Hourglass 2.jpg

Full Moon at Sunrise
Photograph: unsplash-logoNathan Dumlao

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

“I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry.”
— John Cage

Welcome to my new blog — brief ruminations on what it is that moves me (and maybe YOU, too). If any of my poems inspire you, please forward them to friends. Good muse travels fast. Or could, with your help.

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