FROM BACKPACKS TO POCKETS
(FROM BOMBS TO POEMS)
SEEKING SOME KIND OF SOLACE
FROM THAT APRIL MARATHON MONDAY’S BOMBS OF BOSTON,
I RACED ON THURSDAY TO BRYANT PARK’S “READING ROOM”
TO CELEBRATE OUR CITY’S CHILDREN
WHERE I HEARD POEMS FROM TEENAGED BOYS
LAMENTING BROKEN HEARTS, BROKEN PROMISES,
GIRLS THE SAME AGE EXALTING, ACCEPTING AND
WORKING ON THEIR POWER WITH POISE AND PURPOSE
WHILE A LITTLE BOY WROTE OF HATING MONDAY MORNINGS
“‘CAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL.”
THESE YOUNG BARDS ERASED, IF JUST FOR A SMALL RESPITE,
THE PALL THAT WAS PERMEATING OUR HOURS
WITH OUR SPIRITS CARRYING WEIGHTS THAT WE SO NEEDED TO RELEASE.
WHERE WE HAD NO IDEA OF SOLUTIONS BECAUSE
OUR BRAINS WERE NO LONGER USEFUL, NO LONGER WITH US,
JUST SO VERY EXHAUSTED, BEYOND THE HEADACHES, BEYOND THE SADNESS,
TIRED BEING A WORD WE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND.
LATER, WHILE DOING MY DELAYED LAUNDRY, I READ THE SALUTE TO
“POEMS IN YOUR POCKET” DAY IN THE METRO PAPER AND LOVED THE FACT
THAT OUR MAYOR, A MAN WHO DEPLORES VIOLENCE, NOT ONLY CONTRIBUTED
A POEM THAT WAS CHARMING, HE NAMED THE WINNERS OF HIS CONTEST.
EACH OF THEM IS SUCH A SWEET RELIEF AGAINST
THE HIDEOUS TRUTH ONSLAUGHTS WE’VE BEEN ABSORBING,
THAT I AM SO GRATEFUL TO HOLD POETRY IN MY HAND,
TO HAVE HEARD THE POEMS OF CHILDREN AND, ONCE AGAIN,
BE THANKFUL TO KNOW AND TO TRUST ABSOLUTELY,
OVERWHELMINGLY, IN THE POWER OF WORDS TO HEAL.
Written by Pat Dasko/NYC
Read Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at
Hamilton Poetry Workshop/NYC
I HAD COME TO PICK UP A SCHEDULE
THAT LATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON IN OCTOBER OF 2010.
TWO EARNEST STAFF MEMBERS WERE UNPACKING LOADS AND LOADS
OF BAGS AND BUNDLES FROM CARRIERS THAT
A LARGE, LUMBERING MAN KEPT ROLLING IN AND OUT.
LONG, EMPTY TABLES WERE EVERYWHERE.
THIS ROOM WAS LINED UP, GETTING READY TO PRESENT.
“NEED SOME HELP?” I HEARD MYSELF SAYING
AND RELIEF SMILED OUT FROM THE TWO GALS.
WE WORKED TOGETHER FOR HOURS
CREATED WORKABLE PILES, FILLED RACKS.
TIMED PASSED UNTIL IT WAS NOW 9:30PM AND
THE GRATEFUL MANAGER TOLD US IT WAS TIME TO GO.
“NEED HELP TOMORROW?” ME AGAIN, OFFERING.
“OH PLEASE – BE HERE AT 9:30AM.”
I HAD A BUSY SATURDAY OF IT. MY OLD OHRBACH’S –
PITKIN COUNTRY DRY GOODS – DESIGN RESEARCH SKILL SETS
KICKED IN AND I HAD A REGULAR BALL.
I PUT WARDROBE PIECES TOGETHER,
NEGOTIATED PRICES BASED ON A HUNCH
SAT AND CHATTED WITH ALL THE OTHER VOLUNTEERS
WHEN WE WERE INVITED TO BREAK FOR LUNCH.
BY 6:30PM, I WAS THE LAST OF TWO VOLUNTEERS
ONLY NOW RUTH AND I WERE PUTTING
THE DAY’S TREASURES, THE ONES NOT CHOSEN,
THOSE TO WAIT FOR ANOTHER EVENT, TO BED.
I WENT HOME RATHER SATISFIED THAT BECOMING
AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE HARGRAVE CENTER,
POSTPONED FOR A LONG TEN YEARS,
WAS NOW MY NEW COMFORT, MY EASY REALITY.
I HAD FULLY ACCEPTED MY AGE,
MY SEVENTY YEARS ON THE PLANET,
AS A CHAPTER THAT I WAS NOW READY, NOT ONLY TO WRITE,
BUT TO RE-READ AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Hamilton Poetry Workshop
April 23, 2013
Poet/Poem: Howard Moss/”Shorelines”
Instruction: The Moment When (You) accepted: Age
Just the facts: born 4:54am, July 3, 1940, in East Orange, NJ, and raised in Newark, I achieved my degree in Physical Education & Dance from Arnold College of the University of Bridgeport and just attended my 50th Graduation Class Reunion!
Through some great “ricochet off the walls of life," I moved to Aspen in 1966. There I was Director of Publicity, Promotions and Special Events for the town and, in 1970, forming Pat Dasko/Public Relations, I produced a classical ballet company’s (Ballet West) Summer Performance and Teaching Residency, a labor of love. I was also privileged to travel through Europe with them summer of 1971 as an Associated Press stringer with Jacques D’Amboise as our star. Returning to Aspen, I was PR representative for Hunter S. Thompson’s Campaign for Sheriff.
In 1977, now in Los Angeles, as the Casting Director for Norman Lear’s "Fernwood 2night," and then a Script Re-writer on “Rhoda,” I was gently bitten by the bug of Acting; scratched it studying for three years with such wonderful teachers as Harold Clurman, obtained my union cards in Salt Lake City and, returning to the East Coast in 1984, became a member of The Phoenix Ensemble here in New York City.
So, Poetry, I consider it to be the greatest defense against the juggernaut of technology and if it weren’t for Olympia Dukakis challenging me in January of 1990 while working at her Whole Theatre in Montclair, NJ, I never would have dared the courage to present my work in public.
I've been pleased to be published and to have performed with The Gathering, Smoke Signals, Word Up, Nomads Choir, both locations of the Knitting Factory, on NYC radio stations, in a cathedral in Jersey City, at the train station in Hoboken, in a public garden on the lower East Side, Riverside Park for Poetry Place, open mikes galore, public television, in San Francisco, Aspen, Salt Lake City, all five Boroughs of New York City and even Slammed into the Finals at the Nuyorican Poets Café. I enjoy and look forward to hearing other’s work as well as sharing mine.