July 3, 2008

Aesthetics and Afrikatalyst

My fellow artists in Afrikatalyst inspired me to write this piece about my approach to writing.

The aesthetic of my writing, at least my poetry writing, is most often attempting to invoke feelings through sound. For me, all recitations--poetry, songs, plays, and even speeches--possess two levels of meaning which are intimately interconnected. The first is the meaning we associate with our understanding of the definition of words and phrases. The second is the meaning inherent in the sound itself, the meaning of its magnetic quality of rhythm and vibration. This sound has a fluidity of meaning, a special aesthetic which is not reducible to the words.
In fact, this flexible quality of sound and the ability to manipulate its meaning is the mark of a truly great slam poet. There are a number of great writers, but we listen to those who 'magnetize' us with their words. Their concepts may be simpler than the next guy, but the way they use sound and phrasing is unparalleled. The difference is the sound, the placement of sounds in complex structural relations to each other. This is why its not just 'what' you say, but also 'how' you say it. My aesthetic is interested in the HOW. I try to use innovative rhyme schemes, internal rhymes, alliteration, and alliterative rhythm to stimulate the subconscious. The impression I strive to create is of a magnetic flow that creates energy to make you receptive to the levels and allusions of my words. Without flow and rhythm, people simply would not listen as hard.
Thanks to Monk for help with this insight. Peace and forward ever. Give thanks.
Check out Afrikatalyst's show in Baltimore...coming in September.


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