Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here's To the Offbeat

December 6, 2008

If you're looking for something a little offbeat to read, I just discovered that my friend Rupert Schmitt had published a book of poetry. There is nobody more offbeat than Rupert who spent a few nights in my garage a year or so ago, not long before I moved to Hoboken.

Here's one of his poems.

Film Against Mountain

Are you too sacred
To catch on film?

You have strategies
From Rock to Rattle my ego.
Your vastness
Shakes my center.

Am I mocked?
Will I remember mountain
On the lost roll of film?

Immoral to consider
Looking at you
As one of 36 slides
Stuck in a folder
In a box
Buried under the talus slide
In my bedroom.

On your slopes a man loses
If he pounds his chest
Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me!

Months later
I found the film
Within a tube
In its can,
Jammed in the glove compartment
Of my bright red Rambler wagon.

There is no competition
Memory versus film
The trap of emulsion.

Mountain Spirit is seared into my brain
Like filet mignon wrapped in bacon
At Antoine's in New Orleans
When I was eighteen.

Even that is not as offbeat at Rupert himself, but it demonstrates his magic. He dwells in many places at once, bouncing happily off the walls and contemplating the mysteries of the outdoors. A retired environmental scientist, he is now a performance artist, poet and painter living in Arizona and going where he likes. He loves animals and nature, and his book The Interview reflects that. He is at once serious and whimsical, funny and profound. In his poems he captures many facets of a life lived for its own sake, full of love and the adventure of small events and odd creatures. He writes of cats and water birds, of family and love affairs. He looks at the world with wonder, humor, and sometimes anger. Even though not always thorough and disciplined as a poet--and never lengthy--he is always original and always delicious.

If you're interested, the book can be ordered from, for Christmas or if you're in the mood for something a little offbeat yourself.


Rupert Schmitt writers blog said...

Mary Lois, Thanks for the plug for The Man in My Garage. I am not used to being written about by others and then reading the comments of readers. This is new to me and I am intrigued by the process. Your blogs have inspired me to start my own blog and I am like a blind person navigating a strange new world. I am delighted with your blog. I hope some of your readers will take a look at The Interview and Other Poetry by Rupert Schmitt. Last night I went to a poetry reading in Phoenix. Some poems were on panels serving as part of a streetscape. I talked with the poets who were all late for the event which was canceled because there was no electricity. So I was with poets who were on the walls and poets who were off the walls. They were all in their twenties and thirties, many of them students at the Arizona State University. And it is hard to form new friendships with people of other generations. And I want so much to listen to their voices. Happy blogging and blog reading.

Benedict S. said...

Hello Rupert. I'm one of the fellows you met at the Organic reunion Oct a year ago. I'm the good looking one with the golden nose and no front teeth. I'm sure you remember me. And I take it you're the fellow fro Ajo, AZ, a place we were able to share voluminous tales about -- I had passed through there once as a sleeping passenger in a sloppily driven minivan on its way to that Puerto place on the Baja the name of which is too romantic for an old heart to speak (even silently).

I'll order a couple of your books and pass them around here in Virginia, hoping to gen-up trade. I love the poem ML blogged, especially that meal at Antoine's with its Proustian unfoldings of memories dead and gone. Hope to see you again, somewhere halfway to Heaven or Hell and hoping we're headed in the same direction.

Rupert Schmitt writers blog said...

Benedict Mendacious mouse. Good to hear from you. I am so glad you are ordering a couple of copies of the Interview. That will make my day.

I went to your blog and was struck by the coincidence. On about the same date my first entry on my first blog was also on economics.

I like your comment on meeting halfway to heaven and hell. I plan on taking up residence in hell. I and Mark Twain just don't care for heavenly music. Too damn many harps. Take care.