Poetry Showcase from Igor Goldkind

Breathless

Take a deep breath and hold it.
Hold it.  Hold it.
Keep holding it.
Continue holding it
Hold it  until you have used everything you have taken in.
Everything you know, everything you’ve seen, everything you hold precious and dear.
Keep holding it all in. 
Until you are exhausted.
Until you are out of breath and desperately need to take another one
But don’t.
Gasp before you pass out.
Now you are Breathless.

If you don’t breath, you die.
If you hold your breath, you will pass out before you die.
If a man presses his knee against your neck, you will die.
Your body makes decisions your mind cannot over rule.
Between your private inner world and the cold, indifferent outer world…
Lies the breath.
You draw the air outside you into your deepest, inner self.
Then you release it, if you’re permitted to, back into the world.

Who’s breath is it now?

Is it your breath, you draw in?
Or the world’s breath, you let out?
Who are you and where are the boundaries of yourself?
That separate yourself from yourself?
In your breath, 
In the breath you share with the world, 
The world that includes you, that is you.
All around you, without you and within you.
The breath traverses the universe and your soul, 
Without borders, without visas, without armed guards checking your identity.

Hold your breath.
In anticipation.
In anticipation of your death.
In anticipation of your arrival in the world.
in anticipation of the catastrophe that awaits you,
You call life.
Hold your breath until you can’t hold it  anymore
Now you are Breathless.

This album, this sequence of sound is a collaboration between my good friends Frederic, Jair and Katarina and my self.  It is a kaleidoscope of images, of sounds, of beats, of words.  Of intakes of breath, of exhalations, declarations, lamentations and celebrations.  
Of sounds, images and words colluding to find meaning.
Between breaths.  
Between beats.
Between  small events and catastrophes.
Between the moments of our life 
Where we can all meet 
Alone and Breathless.

When we cannot make love instead of war, we make art.

Have  fun. 

https://igorgoldkindpoet.com/2022/03/28/sunflower-seeds-inside-your-pockets/

Blank Child

Partly you, partly me, partly every child that's come to be.
The pain and suffering we adults have caused him, 
Reaches far beyond his 
Anonymity. 
Look at his blank stare
Look at his blank stare
Look at his blank stare.
Look at the blood on his matted hair.
His eyes are emptied of his childhood world.
What was stolen from him
The rest of us shared.

Paper Bag

I am a paper bag, I am.
I’m not the smart one,
I’m not the successful one
I’m not the tall one who always won and
Then died.
I am a paper bag.
I’m only as good as what I can carry.

I am a paper bag,
I’m not plastic, not I.
I am paper: rough, brown and thin
I’m not waterproof, you know.
And I can’t hold any liquids or gases within.
I only have energy for the stuff that really matters.
You know,
I’m a paper bag.
I’m only as good as what I can carry.

I am a paper bag.
Wrinkled and used and often abused
Thrown on the floor.
Buried deep inside your drawers.
I am a paper bag.
That sometimes falls apart.
I’m only as good as what I can carry.

Nobody Talks to me Anymore

Today was every other day.
My boss says, 
"Hey Joe, where you going with that staple gun in your hand?"
I draw a blank on my face and turn to face his.
"You don't really know, do you, Joe? 
You don't know where you're going.
You don't really know who you are.
You don't know much of anything anymore,
Do you now, Joe?"

Then he laughs at me 
In front of everybody
He laughs and points at
What everybody but me can see.
And everybody laughs and they laugh and they laugh
But nobody talks to me anymore.
My boss don’t talk to me anymore.
My neighbors don’t talk to me anymore.
My doctor don’t talk to me anymore.
My mother don’t talk to me anymore.
My father don’t talk to me because 
He's long since gone
Flown far away from the words to this song.

I call my girlfriend up on the telephone
She says, "Joe, I'm not your girlfriend anymore"
And hangs up the phone.
Nobody talks to me anymore.

I call my doctor on the telephone
He says, "hello, is there anybody there"?
I say, "it's me, Joe, doctor help me, nobody talks to me anymore!"
My doctor coughs and hangs up the phone.
Nobody talks to me anymore.

I call on my priest in the church down the road
I say "Hello, Father? my Father, is that really you?"
"Please tell me, dear Father, what should I do?"
My priest says "Joe, God don't love you anymore"
And throws me out through God's front door.
Even God don't talk to me anymore.

So, I go down to a bar to have a little swim.
There's a bar stool there where the Xmas tree should have been.
The bartender looks at me,
But he doesn't say a word.
I hold up two fingers and point at the sky
So he pours me a double, ten-year-old rye.

Which I toss down and motion for another 
While calling him "my brother".
The bartender stares at my face.
As silent as the stone in his wall.
Nobody talks to me anymore.

On the street, the headlights blind my blinking eyes.
Strangers push past me, some I know, most I despise.
A cop car pulls up and flashes his bright light on me
The cop points his flashlight in my eyes so that I can't see.
There's nothing he or I need to say.
He won't arrest me.
It just ain't worth his time to talk to me anymore.

A ghost walks up and stares into my face.
He doesn't say a word; just hangs there in space
Instead, he spins ribbons of colored lights 
Inside my head.
There's no knowing with ghosts no more 
The dead don't even talk to me anymore.

Suddenly I see an explosion of lights
There's trumpets and harps and angels in sight
A liquor store, neon vision of light 
Promises me spirits of salvation and delight
If I just step inside.
While next door, a gun store slowly cracks open its door . . .

I am my father and my mother's son and 
I’ve never before bought me a gun.
But nobody, nobody talks to me anymore.

Insomniac Awareness

We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,
Licking the silver from the backs of our screens,
Are living in a different time zone
Of Insomniac Awareness

Sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes four or more
Lives are lived and lost each night.
In our rooms, by ourselves
Sitting precariously at the edge of our beds.

This is our legacy 
The lasting perpetuity of our sensory species:
The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,
Right up to the surface of our understanding.

What is not yet known.
Or what was known and long since forgotten.
Dances across the screen you stare into.
Tripping over your coded memories; in Real Time.

Who are you reading this?
Do you know
What perturbs your sleep-walk into the night?
Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull you through.

Into your own quiet world,
Where things that count never change.
And no one is dreaming you, but your mother
Who has left you now for another child.

The Numbers Game

In the end, it was the numbers that did us in.
They lined us up into military rows
And assigned us all numbers
One after one after one after one after one….
How many, nobody knows.
You see, it’s a numbers game
It’s all the same
You’re not to blame,
You’re not your name
You’re your numbers.
Let me explain how it’s done,
And how this game can never be won.

See, there are good numbers and bad numbers
High numbers and sad numbers.
Sometimes high numbers are good and low numbers are bad.
And sometimes low numbers are good and high numbers are sad.
It all depends on who is doing the counting.
It’s not you or me
Nor the numbers either.
They don’t know that they’re just numbers after all; although,
The numbers do count on each other.
Just not you or me

Because we are never free
Of Big Numbers and small numbers,
Negative numbers and imaginary numbers,
You see, it’s a numbers game.
It’s all the same
You’re not to blame,
You’re not your name
You’re your numbers.
Let me explain
How it’s done.
And how this game can never be won

Prisoner number…
Credit Score number
GPA number
SAT Number
Zip code number
Blood pressure number
Heart rate number
DOB & TOD numbers
House number
Gas number
Phone number
Electricity number
Room number
Water number
Dog tags number
Social Security number
Bank account number
Table number
Sibling number
Temperature number
Flight number
Apartment number
License number
Vehicle registration number
Alcohol level number
Height, weight and age get numbers

I hear you scream:
“I’m not a number, I’m a human being!!”
Sure you are,
Now take a number.
It’s for your own protection
There’s safety in numbers.

Numbers can answer all of your questions:
How far, how long, how deep, how high, how many,
How often?
Just not ‘how come’?
Anyone can count,
But you can’t count on anyone.
See, it’s a numbers game
That can’t be won
It’s a numbers game
It’s just how it’s done.
It’s all the same.
You’re not to blame
You’re not insane!
You’re not your name
You’re your numbers.
Now count to ten
And start all over again.

Wolfpack Contributor: Igor Goldkind  

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Igor Goldkind

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Igor Goldkind

with Igor Goldkind:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Igor: I started writing things down that wasn’t school work when I was still in grade school. I had a teacher Mrs. Atkins, in the 5th grade who has her class write a story as an assignment one morning for an hour. I kept writing and she saw I was caught up in the story and let me keep writing for most of the day until the story was finished while the rest of the class moved onto other subjects. I think I realized that there was something special, something important about writing things down that my teacher considered more important than following the curriculum schedule.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Igor: Everyone I meet. Every conversation I overhear. The turn of phrase I hear someone using in their everyday life. Literature is not sanctified, language doesn’t come from heaven, it comes from the lives we are living, it comes from what happens to us and our need to account for our experience and the truth of that experience.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Igor: I grew up in San Diego, California where I find myself again after returning in 2016 to see my mother out. I couldn’t wait to get out of San Diego and get to the rest of the world I had been reading about. I graduated from high school a year early just to get out of San Diego which was and to a great extent still is a creatively oppressive place to live. I went to UC Santa Cruz where I studied philosophy and phenomenology and then San Francisco Stay where I lived a couple of blocks from the corner of Haight & Ashbury, studied poetry and went to poetry readings with whichever beat poets were still alive. After college I wound up living in Paris, France working as a journalist and intentionally rented a room in the house that Henry Miller once lived in. Later moving to England, my first sold work were for British publications, The London Review of Books, The Oxford Poetry Journal, The Guardian etc.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Igor: I try to generate meaning for the reader in every work that has been published. More importantly, I strive to invite the reader into the apprehension of the meaning of the words I write at the moment that they are read. Reading is an experience that occurs in the moment and all meaning derives from our experience of the moment we rediscover ourselves in.

Q5: Any pivotal moments when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Igor: Every time I got fired from a straight job, or made redundant or had to cope with endemic, systematic injustice on an organizational level, I wanted to stop following order without meaning or conscience and work at what I was good at without doing any harm to others.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Igor: I’m a biker currently riding a Triumph Thunderbird 1600. It’s a large sturdy vehicle that I like to ride long distances. Riding a motorcycle requires a completely different focus than a protected vehicle. On a bike you are ultimately vulnerable and must pay attention to everything that is going on 360 degrees as well as be able to anticipate any potential event to a mortal degree. If you are distracted, you might die, if you lose focus, you might die, if you zone out, you might die So you can’t do any of those things if you want to stay alive. You must maintain full mindful consciousness of where you are, who are and what is all around you or you may die. I like to think of it as coercive mediation. Pay attention or you might die. That’s how I relax.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you would like to promote?

Igor:

My latest work Take a Deep Breath – Living With Uncertainty was written during the pandemic lockdown about the pandemic lock down from a first person, experiential point of view.

It is the first work I’ve done in which the intention is overt: to use words as remedies for suffering.

The sciences provide remedies, but so do the arts.  The ancient Egyptians wrote curative words on fragments of papyrus to feed their burnt ashes to the afflicted. Lacking morphine, Walt Whitman read verses to fallen soldiers on the battlefields of the first Civil War.  At their best, the right words are more than therapeutic, they can be curative. Take a Deep Breath emulates this ritual here in administrating remedies for living in these times of crisis, in living with uncertainty. 

“…in dark and mendacious times we need poetry because its careful, precise way with language is a form of truth-telling.”  
– Amit Majmudar, The New Yorker

“Igor takes you into the guts of the pandemic and gives you a tour of the struggles and trials of the everyday environment of the virus that is stalking this dystopian pandemic world of the year 2020. Wide-ranging, he takes you from trans-global to the nightly news of the day that is rocketing past at roller coaster speed, pure emotive emotions so personal that it makes you sit back and wonder at the writing here and what you have just read”. 
– Chris Vannoy – US Beat Poet Laureate 2019

A unique collage of fully illustrated poetry, fables, and philosophies, Take a Deep Breath, Living With Uncertainty, is a book aimed at the pandemic of crisis anxiety so many of us are living through.

222 Pages, Fully illustrated in Color, High-Quality Paperback edition.

• ISBN: 9798563450462

• $30.00

https://takeadeepbreath.one

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WK51XSJ

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?

Igor: Impossible to choose just once line, much less piece.
I suppose off the top of my head, I’ve always found the line that resonates with many people is “Fate is nothing personal”. That’s the level of ontological insight and understanding I attempt to prompt with my words.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Igor: Too many. Of those who I knew while they were still living… Ray Bradbury, who gave me my first advice on being a writer when I was 14. Then friends, Theodor Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, David Halliwell, Jeremy and then Eleanor Brooks, my first editor and Alan Moore who told me once that an artist doesn’t give the public what it wants, he or she gives the public what it needs.

Links:

Wolfpack Contributor: Igor Goldkind

Poetry Showcase from Igor Goldkind

Several Poems by Igor Goldkind

https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/igor_goldkind

Several Poems by Igor Goldkind

Let Your Mind Go


If you love your mind just let it go.
If you lose your mind don’t worry
It will find you again, eventually.
Trekking across the tundra;
Scaling the icy ridges
Crossing a vale of tears.
At midnight, in the dead of the night,


Your mind will tap you on the shoulder and say
‘Here you are’!
Sitting all alone in the last place I looked.
While I am merely moonlight
Pausing to reflect upon still waters.
Make sure you leave your back gate unlocked,
The next time you let your mind run free.

Rumi’s Mirror

The reflection of a reflection is your reflection
Upon the mirrored surface of a pool,
Being slowly filled by the very source of the life
You reflect upon.

Now jump in the pool!

Pebbles

Thoughts are merely pebbles
Being gently washed by a passing stream.

You are the stream.

Thoughts are merely pebbles on a beach
Being gently rounded by crashing waves.

You are the waves.

Thoughts are merely pebbles in the sand.
Being gently worn away by the passing wind.

You are the wind
My words escape on.

Words are merely thoughts
Being gently read by a passing eye.

Yours are the eyes
That can read these thoughts.

All work is ©Igor Goldkind from his forthcoming collection
Take a Deep Breath

For All of Us

All of us
Not just one of us
But each of us.
Is but a tiny droplet on the face of this world.
Wash your face and wash your hands of
Your fears of this.

We will survive
The enemy maybe invisible and has us surrounded
But we are all of us
Surviving each of us together.
This is how we adapt to survive.
We all now are refugees fleeing disaster.

The Tree of Life

In the centre of the valley of death
Grows the tree of life.
The bones that feed the roots,
Spread its branches
Upwards to touch the fishbone sky.
Awakening is opening an umbrella.
Just as it starts to rain.

The Stars

There are few shreds of dignity left
When you drown face down in your own back street gutter.
You can cry out as loud as an archangel’s horn if you like
It won’t do you any good or any harm either.
You still can’t stop the wind or turn back the tide
Fate is nothing personal.

It’s just the universe catching up with you, then passing you by.
Your dream of yourself is evaporating
Forming the clouds that obscure the night’s sky
The stars are leaving you now, one by one.
This is the last moment of your own self-awareness.
Your last chance to figure out what the fuck is going on.

Very much like the moment you first awoke,
Only your mother’s smile is nowhere to be found
And all that remains of limitless love is your fading memory:
The sound of her voice calling you to come home
In the far distance
From where the stars had gone to mourn your passing.

Wolfpack Contributor: Igor Goldkind

Poetry Showcase from Igor Goldkind

https://takeadeepbreath.one/

Igor Goldkind is an author, poet, and independent scholar. At the age of 14, Igor served as a volunteer Science Fiction Coordinator for the now wildly popular San Diego Comic-Con. It was in this capacity that he met Ray Bradbury, whom he asked for advice about becoming a writer. Through Comic-Con, Igor also befriended Theodor Sturgeon and Harlan Ellison, two of his major influences. He worked in the British comic publishing industry and is best known for having coined the Graphic Novel genre as a global publishing genre. In 2016, his award-winning multimedia novel published by Chameleon Publishing IS SHE AVAILABLE?, broke ground in combining Poetry, Comics, Jazz, and Animation setting a new bar in electronic publishing. He continued to blend poetry with art in his new r work TAKE A DEEP BREATH, Living With Uncertainty, an illustrated collection of essays, poetry, and short stories confronting the pandemic in personal terms. Igor writes and lives in the San Diego, California but misses the UK.