“Alchemists” poetry accolade from Muriel’s Journey

Poetry Accolade of sorts: Pleased to be on the prize list for a very interesting poetry initiative with roots in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.

I was selected as the “random” prize which i suppose isn’t flowered with prestige but that’s not the reason i write and share poetry anyhow. Thanks to Muriel’s Journey 2021 And Beyond (FB) for including me.

My poem “Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists” (below) comes from my fcked up #MECFS medical journey of conundrums and unintended reinvention which took me around the world seeking ways to re-create neural pathways and myself as an existing sentient creature. The poem will be included in a chapbook and reading at some juncture.

Anyhow, congratulations to those acknowledged, those who write, submit, deal with illness and also to the memory of namesake Muriel and the organizers of the campaign, especially Isabella J Mori.

{The prize booty is stashed in a Canadian bank account for Ichiro for when the opportunity comes for him to visit his ancestral homeland of sorts.}

Poetry is everything, distilled.

A note about Muriel:

“Muriel was a social justice activist, poet, and spoken word artist of Indigenous heritage from the Gitxsan nation’s Owl Clan who spent a lot of time in the Downtown Eastside. In her work, she always explored new ways of expressing herself, always talked and wrote about what’s urgent and important. Her energy was like fireworks, and her hugs legendary.”

bizen yaki kiln, forging clay into treasure
Alchemists Confer with Hypnotists

Varying days
of bliss and malaise
I'm busy these days
chasing dubbies away

When the ache nears 
the break comes and 
light becomes a haze
your soul is so faded,
no hiding, so worn

The alchemists confer 
and deny the hypnotists’
clinical opinions. 
Retorting,
“He simply needs
more magnesium
injected directly into his bones”

The past-life regression
of painters and pirates 
offered no evidence 
only barroom stories when
posted up envisioning
a distant yourself

Generate kinetic watts 
from my broken soul,
frantic heart and coiled brain
anxiety - I've plenty to power
all of Iowa - roller rinks and  all

Please won't you deplete me
save me from me and help me
tell me, to sleep? And you’ll
insist on my compliance, 
fading into ease.

note: dubbies is a Jamaican word for ghosts

Update from Muriel’s Journey selection committee:

Thanks for posting this. The randomness is important. Judging poetry (or anything literature) has an element of personal taste and is, therefore, biased. When we first receive poems, Kyle Hawke and I pre”judge” them so that our judges don’t have to Wade through too many poems. Then we present the three judges with about 30 poems. This year the judges were Heidi Greco , WJ Kehewin , and Gilles Cyrenne . All the poems are judged blind – nobody knows the names of the authors. By introducing a random price we give the chance to someone who might have otherwise fallen through the cracks. So far, by chance, all the random prizes went to poets who were already in the preselection.

Whatcha think?