After reading Susan Ollar’s poem “Autobiography in Fourteen Lines,” I recalled a poem I wrote over a decade ago–a snapshot of a life in brief. As a Zen master told me years ago: “I know everything about you except the details.” This observation beautifully introduces my poem, an escapade of free form images. –Eden Maxwell
Miles | Stones | Epiphany
by Eden Maxwell
New Jersey, 1997
Small boy becomes man, much sooner than later, shoeshine boy buffing drunken
leather outside bars.
Knives, gang punches to the head and gut, shoeshine boy getting robbed once
more, newspaper delivery kid on bicycle treads, street fighter, street
runner, street survivor, lifeguard, cab driver, truck driver, loner by
Near death out-of-body experience, cosmic sense of humor, college graduate,
law and order, disorder, mayhem, injustice, corporate executive, mixes well
with others, married man, kite expert, hang glider, writer wannabe.
Unmarried man, soul quest, soul man, no looking back, high wire, no safety
net, cross country rite of passage is made.
City of Angels, magazine editor, editor-in-chief, new age roustabout,
pilgrim lost, unconditional love, rich man, tantric, mystic, save the world,
waterbed, leaves it all, becomes apprentice to sorcerer of art.
Sausalito houseboat dweller, poor man again, minimum wage worker, purging
dogma, book author, ghostwriter, life in Brentwood, near UCLA, Prima Donna
drama, Hollywood Hills denizen, facing the music, divine manifestation,
epiphany on the patio, finds self as creator, adult prodigy, conditional
Garage sale. One-way ticket. Millennium happens, no limits, no box, man
becomes boy again.
A long journey, an odyssey. Survived the mean streets, riches and rags, the
dark side and the light, too. In the end, stumbled upon the holy grail.
Years of wanderlust, returned home to Ithaca, an artist. Full circle, of
course, to the adventure that has now only begun.
Amazement, compassion, gratitude. Daily. Not shaken or stirred.
FROM THE MEAN STREETS TO SELF-REALIZATION: FIND YOUR WALKING SHOES
Context is essential for comprehension. Meaningful art appreciation cannot exist without an investigation into how and under what circumstances the art came into being. Read more about Eden and the context of this poem on his blog Eden’s Atelier: the soul of fine art.