Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cosmolyrical grappled with life's biggest questions in poetry.

Phil Long in association with Beth Marshal's husband presented Cosmolyrical at this year's Orlando International Fringe Festival. I met Phil just before his performance outside The Venue. He is from Washougal Washington State and is an airplane pilot when he isn't writing poetry. A niece got him started writing poetry when she asked him to write lyrics for a rap song. Being a pilot means he is well traveled and he identified with sketches I had recently posted from Sydney Australia.

Cos-mo-lyr-i-cal A deeply personal and highly engaging performance poetry composition pertaining to the branches of astronomy and philosophy dealing with the apparent origin, history, structure, dynamics, elements, laws, and characteristics, of the observable universe including space, time, causality and mind. The performance was a cabaret style autobiographical slam poetry mash up where physics meets metaphysics, ancient wisdom dabbles in modern science and religion discovers doubts. The more that science discovers, the more mysterious the world seems. As he ponders mortality, he hopes for answers in religion, but there are more questions than answers.

When his father was murdered in his youth, the poet was forced down a path that few tread. He scorned the arrogance of wealth and power, preferring to see what really matters. Did he love or was he loved as a friend?

The most fascinating premise of this poem was the idea that all of creation might just be a poem. Could fundamental particles be verbs and nouns? Could all of creation hinge on our perception of its meaning? What if it's all poetry? Then the ancient myths might seem more real and modern science is just beginning to discover the mysterious possibilities of creation.

Sketching while listening always fractures my perceptions. At times the poet seemed to mistake poetry for religion, but I admired that his faith wasn't blind. He sought answers and used poetry to mine for meaning in life.


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