Last night, I went to see/hear my friend Joe Thomas perform his poetry at the Fullerton Public Library, as part of a month-long poetry series. I've known Joe for about a year. He's been a regular at late night poetry readings at The Magoski Arts Colony. Joe is one of those poets whose poetry must be heard to be fully appreciated. Most people, even good poets, are a bit awkward reading their poetry aloud. But Joe reads/performs with natural rhythm and cadence that is extremely cool.
It's kind of a rare experience in contemporary America to sit in a room full of people and listen to someone read poetry for an hour and a half. You have to slow yourself down, quiet your mind, and enter into the experience. Joe's performance, accompanied by his friend on guitar, was inspiring and captivating. His poems explored the highs and lows of relationships, love and lust, dreams, spirituality, the struggle to overcome trauma, and tuning ones ears and eyes to the rich beauty of ordinary life. Joe stood up there, baring his soul with both confidence and humility.
This is a rare thing too--to hear a fellow human being expressing, as creatively and honestly as he can, what life is like. For Joe, life is rich with inner dreams, love, struggle, God, and the complex beauty of other people. Joe has a new book of poetry coming out soon called White Clouds in the Blue Skies. Look for it. Seek it out!