It seems John Fitzgerald's muse appears at every chasm presented him, his poetry lights the contrariety in all things passing or staying, and in either/or situation, his poetics are a more than entertaining herald of his unique and often humorous detection of dichotomies.
John's latest musings, compiled in his new book, "Favorite Bedtime Stories" (Salmon Poetry 2014) have become entertaining verse on the page, his keen observance of differences in a balance of each value's weight- the poet there to chide once as the scale dips, and then again while the other rises, or vice versa.
A poet, writer, editor, and attorney in Los Angeles, John FitzGerald is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland, he graduated from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. His newest work, Favorite Bedtime Stories, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2014.
Favorite Bedtime Stories is a great book that can be described as poetry design with an inclusion of the classical poetry form, sealed in a modern faux finish glaze. It's a wonderful mix, a steam punk presentation with several quotes by the early thinkers of Classical Greece and, it is as if it were written by an intellectual mind that dropped out in the 8th grade because the autodidacts were the more natural resort, since John Fitzgerald must be left unique or why bother? His creative genius and originality is the kind that a writer can only be born with, and not taught.
From "Favorite Bedtime Stories" Salmon Press 2014:
~ by John M. Fitzgerald
Once, there were four brothers.
One owned all the water.
One owned all the fire,
one owned all the food,
and one owned all the air.
We stuffed these leeches in a hole
and ate and drank and breathed.
~ by John M. Fitzgerald
That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one. -- Hermes Trismegistus
I have become one of these humans.
From beyond I return in the literal way,
with account of both the transit and its feeling.
Thought recedes like a land bridge covered with sea
in the days when the flood struck awe in every heart
to set me once again among you - it has been so long.
I come down from above your lights,
on a redeye over metropolises, aglow with electricity,
from Atlanta to far stretching City of Angels.
I come down, backward in time,
across shades of altitude and night,
it has been so long.
Atlanteans, Angelinos, I pod unto thee, over waves
and basic cables, fiber optically, eye-glassed and fire worked.
It has been so very long.
I reappear thrice great to now,
philosopher over all earth’s meanings,
an architect mistook in scripture,
a little one, already ancient, with cracks for veins.
To the latent, pagan icons,
to the Latin, and classical Greek, it has been so long.
To the offspring of Ardi and Lucy and Ötzi,
to the Jutes and the Saxons and Celts, it has been so long.
Humans! Time to move. We are of another age, revising.
Reliers on dogma, so long. Borders all over the globe, so long,
for I am lover of the word since the beginning,
and that earth seems to move I believe.
It is a fool who grows a crop then does not harvest,
for he is left with a crop of insects.
The thoughts of the mind are a crop.
Take these in and realize.
So long, disconnected descendants.
Misleaders and users, so long.
You knew, or should have known,
what gets scratched by flesh into stone.
Thus I am born among Sapiens, to exact humanity.
You swear, when you hear, I am coiner of words,
my poem a garment, painted rosily. Sing to it. Erect it at the fair.
Impress whatever tiny spark in you may listen.
114 million years ago the first flower spat
its never seen color out of earth.
A flower heretofore latent in humans is about to burst.
Spread the word, now understanding is at hand.
The new human, with a book 13 billion years in the making.
God, it has been so long.
As you read Fitzgerald's poetry there is an occasional poem with a subtle reminiscence of his formal education or, the studies required to become an attorney at law. Most observances of John's that has ever been waxed poetically by him is the perfect form of most every normal everyday poet slash attorney. His poetry is presented with a lyrical and concise legal vocabulary that cuts to the finality of anyone's deposition upon a matter.
In truth, the number of attorney/poets in Los Angeles is yet unknown and therefore, to consider the approximate total, we can rightfully begin an official count here and now…
… (official count to be continued, please check back later)
John M. Fitzgerald's earlier works include, "The Mind" published by Salmon Poetry in 2011. His first book, "Spring Water", was a Turning Point Books prize selection in 2005, and "Telling Time by the Shadows" was released in 2008. He has written a novel, "Primate", and has also adapted it as a screenplay. He is currently writing a non-fiction book called "Everything I Know". He lives in Santa Monica with his lovely wife, poet and actress Hélène Cardona, author of, "Dreaming My Animal Selves: Le Songe de mes Âmes Animales"
Oh, to be a fly on the wall in their home office. Now there, that would be a education in both Literature and Law.
The verdicts only John Fitzgerald can conclude to, are read by us as an awakening with a chuckle, and our own hands smacking our foreheads for not having seen it before. But of course with the similar machinery in our psyches we might have.
It seems John Fitzgerald's muse appears at every chasm presented him. He sees the contrariety in all things passing or staying and in either or situation, his poetics are a more than entertaining herald of dichotomies, becoming a balancing of the weights of each value, to chide once as the scale dips, and then again while the other rises, or vice versa.
John Fitzgerald is simply blessed in that, with both left and right brain cooperating with one another, he is a poet of a Pythagorean distinction, possessing the ability to express himself beautifully, lyrically and also mathematically describe the curve of any harmonics present in the metered spoken word, if asked.
The Game Begins
I am not as good at chess as I dream. More a poet at it.
But the pre-beginning creates itself right after the beginning.
It’s ironic, because the beginning has to happen first,
the former being timeless.
And it’s no judgment, to call the pre-beginning timeless.
It simply follows its own rules. Go back to when we first
agreed to play. “Let’s set up the board,” we said,
and moved the pieces into place, part of the game.
We can’t just start with everyone scattered.
Positions must be occupied. Otherwise, when can we say
the game began? A few weeks ago when we both discovered
we knew the rules and said we should get together?
Of course not. The game began after the pieces were set.
That way we agree upon an official beginning.
And if the beginning is first, the pre-beginning is zeroth,
because it came before the first.