DaySong Miracle (Past 62) Our Subud Brother Paul Nelson has a new book out! by Jim O’Halloran

May 31, 2024 | 0 comments

Paul and I have done latihan together for years, collaborated on music and poetry, and conversed deeply on a huge array of subjects over the last 20 years. I can unreservedly state that Paul is a brilliant, sincere human being searching for the daily miracles in his life and building his identity as an honest examination and accumulation of his life.
That is my feeling of what DaySong Miracle (Past 62) is about. As with Paul’s other books, the reading of the book involved a lot of research to enable my understanding. More patience would have been in order! Many of the seemingly obscure references were revealed as the book progressed, and many more became clear reading the excellent interview by Veronica Martinez which follows the poem.

DaySong Miracle (Past 62) by Paul E. Nelson, cover art by Roberta Hoffman

DaySong Miracle (Past 62) by Paul E. Nelson, cover art by Roberta Hoffman

Here is what Paul had to say about his objectives in writing DaySong Miracle:
 “The DaySong is a day-long writing ritual that was designed for participants in my ongoing online workshops Life as Rehearsal for the Poem” and Poetics as Cosmology.” After 56 days of writing postcard poems in the Poetry Postcard Fest, which SICA-USA has sponsored for three years (thank you), the exercise is designed for poets to stretch their practice from 12-14 line poems (the spatial restriction of the typical postcard) to a temporal restriction, 24 hours. I have always been convinced that the best poets can have a range of styles or methods to get to the heart of the poem, the heart of the self. Matt Trease has done at least one DaySong and notes one day is synecdoche for a life. I think this is true and the whole exercise should be like a ritual. I took inspiration from Michael McClures instructions for his Personal Universe Deck. He noted that when you create the Personal Universe Deck, you should be alone and that not even the cat should interrupt you. He did not state it specifically, but it is to be a sacred occasion. For a Subud person, the beginning of the DaySong should be similar to the words: Relax, Begin” at the beginning of Latihan. My objective was to get a successful poem. When composing spontaneously, one uses the poem as an act of discovery. I have always been interested in real poetry, that is not using poems as rhetoric, which I think is a more superficial level of consciousness. To seek to discover rather than to tell us what you think is an approach to getting beyond the ego. I do have some rhetorical poems and hopefully the rhetoric is noble, but I try as best I can to maintain a state of surrender to the language, to what its needs are. As Robert Duncan said: I dont use language, I cooperate with language.”

In addition to these goals, I wanted to honor my memory of my three friends who died at age 62, the age I was turning two weeks after this DaySong was being written. Two of the friends I had known since 4th grade and the other since about 10th grade, so were talking about longtime friendships.”

The book was written in one day, September 8, 2023. Paul trained for writing this and intentionally scheduled a day to do so after the end of the annual Cascadia Postcard Fest referenced above. In addition, Paul writes an American Sentence daily, continues a serial poem and contributes to his other ongoing writing projects.

Paul states “DaySong Miracle was written for John Beniaris, Paul Christofalos and Jim Pierce, but as always, for the record of individuation (the process of becoming a more noble human). Brian Boyd is the biographer for the Russian poet/lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov and Boyd said that writing should ‘attend to the individuating details.’ Amen”.

The personal value of DaySong Miracle (Past 62) was the gift of witnessing Paul’s attention to seeking the divine, attention to daily miracles, practicing the latihan, and awareness of breath, the noosphere and presence of Bodhicitta. I found great resonance and inspiration from this poem. Thank you, Paul.

Here is an online link to order the book.
DaySong Miracle (Past 62)   It is also available in Spokane and Seattle.

Many thanks to Greg Bem, another excellent poet, and Carbonation Press for printing
DaySong Miracle (Past 62).

Jim O’Halloran, May 30, 2024



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