About Will Schmit and a new poem “Six Strings Untie the Knot”

My name is Will Schmit. I began writing
poetry in the late 1960’s on a dare from a
high school English teacher who took
umbrage at my sarcastic response to his
suggestion Rod McKuen was the next Carl
Sandburg. I didn’t know who the first Carl
Sandberg was either but I was sure the
poetry foisted upon us wasn’t worth the
teacher’s emphasis.

I wrote a poem for the school newspaper but
didn’t use my real name to not tip off the
faculty. It got in the paper, it was some sort
of concrete poem using the shape of steps
coming to an abyss to represent our
education.

My first outside school norm influence was
Ginsburg’s Howl given to my by a member of
our state champion wrestling team. I went to
college in Milwaukee Wisconsin for several

half semesters, took two creative writing
classes, well one and a half as I was bodily
carried out of class by a body builder named
Texas Jack Gonyo who told me poetry can’t
exist in a classroom with no windows. He
brought me to the side of a river and began to
teach me Tai Chi and turned me onto Arthur
Whaley’s Translations from the Chinese.

In 1972 I published my first book of poems
Woof dem Babies Down on a literally
underground press called Babylon. Anti-war
protest stuff mixed in with travel tales of
crossing most of Canada on a bicycle and of
course the unrequited love poems.

Feminist poetry was the rage and I heard
Denise Levertov live and began peddling
small press radical feminist poetry books out
of the co-op where I worked. Some of the
lesbian poets didn’t know I was a male as my

nom de plume was not so gender specific and
when they came to town to read it made for
some awkward book sales. I left the Midwest
at the height of my local fame having pulled
in a 100 or more people to a hybrid
jazz/poetry show as the local poetry club
wouldn’t give me a gig.

I didn’t quit writing altogether but it was the
90’s before I got back on stage for an open
mic in Northern California. I was also
studying music and African Dance and
formed a spoken word band with a group of
multi-instrumentalists called Wiley Jadavega
and the Poetry Section because the local
Barnes & Noble didn’t have one.

We played coffee clubs and campus lounges
for a few years, put out a cassette, did a local
TV spot. Incidentally a poet who just last
year was a Pulitzer nominee was a fan of the

band. I put out two chapbooks during the
decade but the band folded and I again
didn’t quite quit writing to study saxophone.

To be blunt I didn’t have much use for
poetry. If I came across a literary journal I’d
page through it and scratch my head at the
obtuse language. Poetry slams and rap styles
left me in the dust as I couldn’t memorize or
freestyle so I took fiction courses on line,
finished a novel, came in 12 th out of 200 in a
contest and, you guessed it, set it all aside to
study saxophone.

I’ve always worked, always been a blue collar
street level sort of poet and around 1995 I got
sober, re-married, and began writing faith
and praise poems in what I imagined was a
born again griot style. I called the band out
of retirement to record a CD Bring to Glory

which is available on Spotify, iTunes, and my
website.

I published a collection of personal
psalmistry entitled Head Lines Poems &
Provocations in an effort to rescue faith
based literature from right wing propaganda.
I got a Kirkus Review, had an ad in
Poets&Writers and sold a handfull of signed
copies before the pandemic.

I got on Twitter to promote the book and CD
and found a new world on online publishing
such as Fevers of the Mind. I’m writing more
‘secular’ stuff nowadays to use a word I
would never use and have a new EP coming
out later this year to be a poetic/music
companion to a book of interviews I just
signed a contract for entitled Bumping into
God A Search for the Sound of Spirit.

I was recently excused from my first ever
poetry workshop (and issued a full refund!)
as I am apparently a horse’s ass of a different
color. The highest compliment I’ve ever
received is from folks who tell me they’re not
into poetry but they read one of mine out
loud to their spouse at the kitchen table
through tears. Not sure I’ll ever top that but
aim to have some sort of reputable press
discover me as I enter my fifth decade of
emerging as a poet.

Please take some time to check out my
poems, tunes and essays on my website
http://www.schmitbooks.com

here’s something from a recent piece…

Six Strings Untie the Knot

I repair your guitar in a
bath of broken glass, these
are the new blues, frozen
specimens, blood tipped
tiles and footprints disappear
outside a window

Thank you for your interest I am looking for
my tribe and Like The Beatles I hope to pass
the audition. Be well, be vocal, be kind.

Bio: Poetry driven Spirit with saxophonic passion author Head Lines Poems and Provocations. schmitbooks.com

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

1 comment

  1. “you guessed it, set it all aside to
    study saxophone.”
    ***
    OK. Laughed out loud!
    Cheers!

    P.S. I dabble in poetry (and Limericks)
    No good at it, but it gives me something to do with my hands and (generally) keeps me out of trouble.

    *For Barney*
    –By Lance Marcom
    ***
    Barney’s not buyin’
    The bullshit they’re tryin’
    Space rock was his ending
    Not God’s will unbending

    They say the Big Bang
    Just weren’t a real thang
    They ‘know’ evolution’s
    Not their solution

    Yet science creates
    Kids who think straight
    It don’t take no sleuth
    To find the true truth

    Religion has pending
    A major upending
    Then faster than light
    Their god turns to shite

    Like

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