Description of the video:
I think we're ready for our campus Tree Project. Introduction from associate dean for academic and student affairs, Joan Bolson. Hello, good evening and thank you to everyone in attendance, to everyone who's a reader. Dr. Steve probally, her students towards towers. Dr. wills. Thank you, everyone for making this event happen. I'm John Polson. I'm the associate dean at IPC and I'm a member of our campuses tree campus committee. So just as a brief background, IPC earned this national recognition as tree campus USA for several years running now. And to do that, and to keep that status, we actually have to meet five core standards each year to maintain this. So tree campus USA is Ann Arbor Day Foundation Program and it honors colleges and universities across the country for their leadership to promote healthy trees and to engage students and staff in the spirit of conservation. And on our campus I'll give a nod that our finance officer Naomi Cohenhour, Our at Leeds, this committee. And there's it's And a campus wide effort. Tonight's event is a tradition on its own, as we know, and I've enjoyed it many times myself. And so it's really amazing and wonderful that we were able to kind of collaborate and, and use this event not only to, to help you work shine, but to help us meet some of these national standards we have to hit. So I do want to thank Dr. safe. You're barely for partnering with us and being so willing to collaborate. And it's not only an evening of beautiful poetry, but a true campus event. I was reading a little bit about sort of the philosophy of art. And there's a quote that says The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their significance. And for many years I think the art and literature of talking leaves has, has naturally included the visual and written art that focuses on life and on trees. And we can certainly see how trees have a significance in our student lives here at IPC as a place of gathering and community when we come together, as a place of relaxation and calm, as a place of solace from the solid of the sun and the heat of those warm August days. I'm delighted that this event can promote not only the outward appearance of trees, but really truly their significance in our, in our lives. And looking out the window at this cold evening, it certainly wonderful to celebrate the life and the vibrance that trees can give us. So I just really want to thank you for this collaboration and thank the three people who've agreed to read on the behalf of this, and I'll turn it back to Dr. seeker Bailey. Thank you so much, Joan. It's exciting to have a synergistic collaborate event. And it's just so cool to have the way of things working if that makes sense with the tree ideas and the talking leaves. So first on our list for tonight's program is Heather Stafford. She's a graduate student in our mental health counseling program. And she's going to read two poems she selected from the 20162017 issue of talking leaves. So the first slide shows to read is undetermined by Laurie haggard because I really liked was the image he was able to create with such few words. I slept a few snoozes pass my alarm, maybe 70. Violet sunlight ripped from my dreams and sets off plate. You must. I threw my pillow at his face than buried my head and I wept. And possible days cannot be lived like this utterly alone. Coffee and friends can not make this better, will not bring you back. While I stay and I sleep and ice cream, and I deny that you're dead. Perfect thing should be exempt from tragedy, but we weren't. So I cursed the sign and I stay in my bed another day, maybe 70. And then the next one I'm going to read is by Chase Schneider. And it is called Indiana State of mine. And I really liked it because someone that's lived in three different cities in Indiana, I felt like it really captured the Indiana spirit. Along the harvested fields. Glacial planes, flat as a disk, moon, clouds Hank thick over an Indiana mind, swarming, light catches in the underbelly of overcast skies and hangs halo like the epicenters of human private passion. Towns and cities stretch out endlessly beneath the mists connected by the ever returning vascular system of interstates and highways and county roads. Almost barren save for a select population of Earth, oocyte, tail lights and luego site headlights. A quiet world, a simple Indiana, which on the surface appears class it as Lake Monroe put toga, Mrs. Xu or while LSE. Yet beneath the surface stirs with the inexhaustible placidity of desire. Gentle quakes and rumblings of an Indiana mine stir below steel toed feet. In the early dawn Hour of the Wolf, men groggily tie their laces, preparing to escape to fluorescent industrial floors where nothing exists but o'clock, a counter and about sitting on lunch boxes, they contemplate philosophy of the sound of torque wrenches and the smell of hot steel. Indianapolis wake Solon, a molten iron heart, eating fumes, miss executing out for manholes and drains. Below rot. Wang himself last monopoly as he resurrects the terrible machine Mock from the heart of desire, beginning The Apocalypse of modern man, city, metropolis. The Circle City spends itself around and around on the winds of culture, cultural subjugation. She pays fealty to the Windy City. The throng of Metropolis acts as a baseline of brass and hard drugs. Cigarette smoke and vapors of alcohol. Rising among the lip of singing glass between concrete modulus into form and void. Rising, rising, indistinguishable as mass of septic overgrowth. The soul of the city intermingled with the poisonous gases floating above the heads of oblivious passer buyers as above. So below the soul of the city is, is indistinguishable translucent toxins that floats over the head of her lethargic people. There was nowhere for the smoke to go behind the bar, behind the stock accumulating on the Jinshi judgmental ceiling. Looking down on patrons who find solitude and whiskey and Amnesty and tequila. Empty bottles fill the table booths like empty friends who sing songs of smiling women behind enamored glasses. Outside the city, the pale sun rises over the crest of bearing trees on soft rounder Tufte ID and tilde frozen by permafrost. Oblique landscape gnarled by the winter winds, yet changed. A pale Golden Dawn hangs upon loan pions and old OPEX. Yawning Winter leaves the fields crystalline, numinous. To the south flat field yields a gray wintery Knowles that role easily clasping together like the folded hands of Southern Baptists and sunny stained glass let churches on Sunday mornings a callous state of mind, terse and heartened by the dirt and rock and time. Glacial claims, fertile soil, limestone, knobs, forest and field. A meandering mind chasing cats to and fro down the wall, bash in and out of steel meals and harvested seasons, sterilize needles injecting serenity above and below Friday night football games. A sporadic Indiana mind. Thank you so much Heather. Just delightful to have you read those poems and I'm so happy you agreed to do this. So wonderful job. I believe that was your first poetry reading of can I say that? There's a really good job. So, excellent, excellent job. Next on our list is Matt rock. Rock. He's a former talking leaves managing editor, and he's been a contributor several times to different issues of the magazine. He's now head of the IEP. You see Academic Resource Center. And he's going to read for us some of his original poetry. Matt, go Matt. Thank you for this opportunity. I brought, I brought two ones about leaps. And one's about, one's about a place that's out in the middle of nowhere, that's really a very special place to meet. So the first one is called stain leave speak. And I wrote this one probably about 12 years ago. So it's been, it's been a while since I've written poetry, but and it's been a while since I've read poetry, so you'll have to bear with my rest a little bit here. Yeah, this was called stain leave speak. I thumb through a paperback history text for reference the other day it opened right up to two wrinkled coffee stain pages. Oh, yes, I remembered. 37 thousand feet frontier flight 06, 08 October 20th, 2006, routing Denver to Indianapolis, cause turbulence. No involuntary spasm. Snotty, gay Stewart calls me the spiller as he brings ineffectual cocktail napkins, religion gone bad, discussing the plight of gay Christians in the Uber fundamentalists to crusade against homosexual agenda. Blobs of general. So SaaS, flecks of curry, a dot of soy from where an elusive Giza slip from my otherwise sure chopstick to grasp. Now I can't eat Eastern cuisine without my blood boiling. That book is forever marked and sad to say borrowed from someone who has moved several zip codes away. Good poems for hard times carefully and lovingly harvested and stored in a compact Yellow Jacket, organized in ways that make life a little bit easier to deal with to understand. Fiery red blotch is a pizza sauce across pages or here or there. No Wallace Stevens poem, an excitable open mike performer decides to change his selections over and over again. Seeking the one resident texts to buckle the knees or haemorrhage the IRS or kill the buzz. I was intoxicated listeners. A copy of The New Yorker purchased at a Hudson books at some air hub. Has I wait to go from this book too bad, spoke some jaw dropping fiction and poetry, hilarious cartoons covering a broad range of topics. As I go to cheer up the writing center with some wit. I find a smear of Thousand Island on a tank or a ten full page or a Slutsky's Rubin price to sell on pumper nickel bread for $7 in lieu of airline food. Cold box for, for all occasions where I was eating alone. Eating alone means something altogether different than being lonely. Reading material keeps my gaze from wandering to the youngest couple. Near the brink of tense, uninhibited drunkenness. The toned and tanned bus boys sinewy arms carrying his car payment or his virginal girlfriends promise ring back to the dish tank. One tab at a time. Dysphoric businessmen and paying separate tickets, remembering with longing the days of creative justification of expense reports. But an opportunity to rest my eyes on something lovely comes every once in a great while on these nights of otherwise solitary, spiritual, gastronomical meanderings. Senior couple celebrating an anniversary, still very much in love, still very much in tune with each other, blessed with the fortune of being able to read the others face. Thanking God that they can leave their dirty food stamp books at home. And then the other one I'm going to read is called crisp point and it's a lighthouse up in the UP Michigan that's on the shore of Lake Superior. And it's this is about how you get there and what it's like out there. And it's really it's right in the middle of nowhere. It's absolutely beautiful when my favorite places, it's my favorite place on Earth. So this is called crisp point. I stood at the edge of the universe the other day, the first time I saw MIT, superior docile, quiet. No breakers are white caps, sky brilliant blue with a thinnest wispy cirrus clouds. The beach stretched east and west, and then behind it dense desolate forest of pines. Fors, Burgess and Naples. Just starting to turn pitcher vessel holding the dunes fast, swaying and shimmering in the wind. Getting there's an undertaking, a test of faith. Smooth state roads lead to sand country roads, lead to teeth chattering, washboard, rocks, strewn trails, heavily canopy with second growth, with second growth forest filtering sunlight. At the halfway point, a glassy almost alpine lake encircled by stands of lodge pole pine and for no signs of civilization, say for fishermen and kayaks and rowboats hoping to land mosquito, northern pike or yellow perch. Devastated clear cut forests have new growth as we knew our goal. And those first glimpses of superior can't help but hardness as we anxiously await that white tower crowned in red and wrought iron. There it is six years hence, I behold crisp point light. So very different now as complex as sprung up as if out of the sand or emerged as if it had walked out of the woods. Plaques, planks carve with names, benches commemorating former keepers of the light. I'll homage to those who have made the effort, not just to see the light, but to save it, saved the structure itself from the fierce winter storms by showing it up with hundreds of tons of boulders, saved the history of one of the great lakes life-saving stations. Save its natural surroundings by cultivating plants and trees that would hold the sand dunes in place. Monies raised through memberships, through boardwalk planks, through apparel sales ad to the idea that CRISPR point is it just a little jet out into one of the great lakes? It has a place that inspires awe and respect that changes people forever. Whether they have known the structure for years or have happened upon in their travels. They have kept the faith, the hope, kept the light. So that new guard, so that the new guard might find the magic standing tall and shining brightly at the edge of the universe. Thank you, throw match, match. Fabulous, fabulous. Love. Hearing your poems. Next on our list and our final poet for this evening is Dr. Kate wills. She publishes under the nome de plume, Catharina tuples, and has an array of poetry publications, including the 2013 checkbook, are slow in migration north. She's recently been published in the inverse poetry archive. And those poems represent the landscape and the people of Indiana. She's currently writing her third chat book. It features eco poetry and The Human Animal relationships. And I'm not sure what poems she's going to read for us now, but I am sure her poems will draw attention to the fun of playing in nature. Hi, everyone. Thank you so much. Thank you, Dr. Lisa. Thank you, Dr. George. Thank you, Joan, and thank you to IUP you see for having this celebration. Artists and writers, dreamers and workers, all of us for four Arbour Day celebrations and for creative works also. And I also want to say that this work has actually, this work I'm going to read today is something that grew out of, that is still developing out of a sabbatical that was given to me again by IUP, you see in the division of liberal arts and the administration of IUPAC. So I thank them for giving me the time for this creative activity. And when we do research, we do creative activity. And it really is important sometimes for artists to renegotiate their mind in their space may be rethink their work. Because sometimes we do take a change and I've made a move into what we call echo poetry, ecological poetry. A lot of my work was family based as is actually very normal. Many young, young, meaning under 40 or under 50 writers will work through the issues of family relationships, children, lovers. And I'm, I think I'm kind of moved into that next stage, which is really what do I want to look forward to it in a different way, not looking back. And it is really falling in this area of animals. Nature catapulted by kind of a new activism in poetry also mapped so much introspective, but looking out into the world, there are so many areas to look at. Their Slam Poetry, Hip Hop poetry, other issues, topics, themes. But this is the one that I've settled on it, so it's very much developing. I didn't have a title that was different when I put in the proposal, had something very different. But currently the chap book title is called complicit in green. And it is a collection. The individually longer and more narrative poems. They're not as short and as lyrical as some of my other previous imagistic work had been. And the theme generally and loosely is situated in the subgenre of echo poetry, which in different forms has been around since at least the eight, Well, since the beginning of time to discussing. But in this current inflexion really since about the 19 hundreds and some of the transcendentalist riders looking at a type of nature relationship with human beings. So what are human animal bands? What can they look like? What, what is human responsibility for natural upheavals? How can humans read the signs of nature that make the human nature and the nature inside and outside that we exhibit that we lived through. A lot of my poems are ekphrastic and that means that they referred to statues, sculptures, art, creations, music that other people have created. Because I have found these to be very powerful in referential across cultures. So one example, and it also takes in part of my life. And in one example I have the, when I was traveling in Moscow in their subway system, they have brass bronze dogs. There are about three feet high and there where the trained we go into the trains. And so many of the people going to work will touch the brass knows of the dogs for good luck. And the Muscovites I was with had never know because he hadn't paid attention. But I said, What are they doing? And he said, oh, well, I don't know. And he asked them when he said, this is a good luck charm. So there's an entire culture in the underground of touching the dog's nose for good luck. And you might have heard that. You might have seen some of the stories about the movie, some of them about Macs, some of whom about Rx. Some of them about hatching the dog that waited, the Japanese dog that waited for his is animal, His human companion. The man actually had a heart attack at work and his human companion did not come home and the dog waited outside for until he died. The dog actually died at the train station waiting for his master. So what I wind up having to balance is kind of an animal SEM, sentimentality. And oh, isn't this sad or isn't this cute as compared to a real kind of edginess of having to deal with nature. So this is a balance that, that I worked through in terms of the themes and the credibility. Work itself. I'd have quite a few illusions in my work that might be implicit or explicit. And they might have to do with mythology. They, they might have to do with treason mythology. I talk about narcissus and the weeping willows. And weeping willows are by water and some flowers also come up that Narcissus fell in love with himself by, by the river side because he was so much in loves seeing his reflection in the water. And he was so beautiful that nature wept for him and left the Weeping willow there as a tree to commemorate him. So there are 1000 cross-culture live these beautiful and that's a very simplified raw, the description that I've given you. But thousands of beautiful stories through all cultures about nature relationships, human relationships that are available actually to all of us and still exist if we are there to, to respond to them. So I find that giving the context helps my audience. It's sometimes easier when you have a book to read. But the context for this I'm going to read to kind of Nature poems. One from the 18 hundreds and one from the 19 hundreds. Just so you can see the style a little bit and what's going on. So the context, initial context for this reading begins with two poems. When they're both, in both cases, there was this desire to, to make the trees as metaphors for the human body. It's pretty straight forward. A lot of poems find that convenient way. Different use of the trees as metaphors for human body. I would almost call them fetishes very often it's a female body. And you will see that in the first poem from the 18 hundreds. But I want you to see how I read these works and then incorporate, well, that incorporate but take to the next level and these works and then reinterpret them in something for, for the two thousands for the 21st century. So quickly these are short poems i'm going to retries by Joyce Kilmer's. And you might have even heard some of these. I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree. A tree who's hungry mouth is pressed against the sweet Earth's flowing breast. A tree that looks at God all day and lifts her leafy arms to pray. A tree that may in summer where a nest of robins in her hair upon whose bosom snow has lain, who's intimately, intimately lives with the rain. Homes are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree. So a very definite kind of metaphor there for the tree as, as a woman, as this fertile kind of being. And then in the 19 hundreds, mid 20th century, a personification of trees as dressing and undressing, as you'll see through here, through the seasons. For the viewer, for the person who has the gaze of the William Carlos Williams, one of my favorite images poets. And this, this is a little more truncated because it is in logistics. I'll slow it down a little bit. All the complicated details of the tiring and the disa tiring are completed. A liquid moon moves gently among the long branches that's having prepared their buds against assure winter. The wise trees stand sleeping in the cold. So it's a very stark poem about we have watched the trees grow leaves and dress and then drop their leaves an undress. And now they're going through this long winter and they pick and stand against nature. It's a little bit of a kind of a stark dark poem. But again, the notion of we watch this gaze on the trees as personifications or as metaphors for a type of human. So initially I'm calling my poem, and it's really one poem in multiple parts. It's in four parts, and it's called tree buds. But I think I'm going to change that. I'm pretty sure if you remember, both of the previous poems had the word but in it. So that was very important that the trees, the notion of hope or possibility of budding remains very important to both of those poets into the bud actually has a bunch of ideas that it refers to. And so I have subtitles to each of the stanzas, and this one is called Gaze. The first stanza of tree buds is gaze. We take you seriously as living sentient beings. Only when we gaze on you as an inhabited body. The metaphor, your branches, arms, your trunk, a torso, your leaves chattering, whispering, Serous, serous. Your body belongs to us. A tiring, disa, tiring. We tell you you hold power over us like the Weeping willow, pensive, wet at the river's edge where Narcissus drowned. Then we turn name, you're ugly cousins, your seductive sister. Sycamore with her story attic, peeling skin, sweet maple dripping on our pancakes. And female gingko full of soft, fleshy stinking seeds. We'd love you the best. Ebony, we won't forget ebony. Ancient ebony, black route of the earth. Ebony. We know you trees, we own you trees. Part to occupy. The logging trucks pitch and roll along the narrow rural roads to saw buzzing Mills, to Carolina furniture factories, to those snippets, smug Bureau homes consuming warm red, cool white oak planking. All under foot. You are like the lungs of the earth. You are a simile that converts the sun into hope. We trust you will continue to baptize us in oxygen. Number three, part three for Esther. I told him to hire the Amish loggers with their horses instead of using heavy machinery. Know skids that ravage the forest floor. These are will start men who read the trees and Earth with their loyal Bucephalus? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Billowing, condensed breath, hose, precarious slip sliding and mud. Horses named mid night, moonlight. And Adam. We let horses pulled down and drag the tree's not men. The trees felt respected. A year later, he decided to trim that single lateral Branch overhanging the pine deck with chainsaw hunger really grounding into the thick lateral with an engineer's geometry. By all dead reckoning, the branch should have fallen. There are bodies have always been entwined. We escape into your heart, would the beating heart of the tree. And that's the conclusion of that pole. And there's actually some of the logging, it's actually a general picture, but I was we did have a tree farm, hardwood tree farm. This is kind of what the logging was with the horses. And we had the Amish people come. We didn't want to have the machinery to get the horses. So that's the, this is the first inaugural poem, a reading from the book and it will be with issues with the complexity. I hope the poem brings out the complexity of the interrelations that tree. Actually, nobody was killed by the tree branch. But there was this whole adventure where we were going to cut a tree branch and it was going to fall a certain way and we had it all figured out, but the tree fooled us and it almost took out our entire debt. But the trees have a way of doing their own thing when they want. So this is part of nature, is a kind of might make a virus or might do something that you're not expecting. So it's not benign, but it can be sweetly sentimental too. So thank you. Thank you so much, Catharina. Just so delightful that you were willing to share some of your new poems with us. That was what I was hoping and it's just, it's so wonderful.