#OccupyEarth!—a Neon Graffiti composite [click photo for next . . . ]
On the road in the American Northwest.
THE WAY I see it, there are many rooms, chambers, halls, gardens, and even perhaps unknown hidden places, in what I think of as the Palace of Poetry. They all have their own distinct quality of light, of rhythm, of energy, of the movement of sense and sound. THIS, is the visionary room, with a rather surreal, wild, sempre-forte, fat-tire bike ride with a friend sitting crosswise on the cargo carrier through the crowded streets of AMSTERDAM BY NIGHT. All the great Transcendentalist are there, all of North America's brightest spiritual lights. They even manage to run populist neo-con proto-fascist, Wim Wilders, out of town. Ah, Amsterdam, there's no place like it! The musical coda was recorded in an old church-movie theater in AMSTERDAM, with the ASKO Ensemble playing "Nightwind," a part of a piece of mine called PHAROS.
AMSTERDAM BY NIGHT—a long-line sonnet
City of Tolerance, City of Enlightenment, City where
Thoreau would cache his pack, where we look for Whitman
In the dust under our boots, City where Emerson would
Lead the charge against the Queen's Palace on the Dam.
City of winding waters:—slow, dark, brooding Amstel against
The bright lights of Carré. City measured by the steps of feet,
By the circumference of bicycle wheels, by the number
Of pubs open past midnight packed tight with free spirits
Dreaming up the next chapter in the book of Democracy,
The next chpater in a people's Symphony, wild assemblage
Of the helter-skelter with a heart of symmetria prisca. Look!
There goes Dickinson on her pink bike with elephant wings!
Chasing Wilders and the last Puritans out of town. Under a bright
North Star, Frederick Douglass speaks, and the whole world listens.
Camp Lost & Found,
Eagle Cap Wilderness
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All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011 picture-poems.com