Because we only have words for 20% of our life experience.
We struggle to find the words. Often, we can’t.
In the old-old days, poets were the keepers of the greatest stories. The stories were honed over time. The stories made us wonder. Made us consider ourselves. Helped us to commit to ideals and strategies. They left us at night to dream if, somehow, one day, we might measure up.
Rhyming, back in the old-old days, was a mnemonic device, a tool to retelling in just the right way a great story. It was a way to listen to a storyteller greater than yourself, and then go on to retell the story with similar effect. Just lean on those jangly rhymes.
A lot of the challenge in humans, and other sentient beings, is to create ways to pass on information outside of the individual…a way for data to be stored and used apart from the person who created it. Words were a start. Mnemonic devices helped. We had poetry to help explain ourselves to ourselves through our best stories.
Eventually, we became overwhelmed with stories stored outside a brain…plays, books, movies, digital media….Along the way, poetry naturally faded in its prominence. Poetry in print didn’t require rhymes for the poem to be shared again and again.
Today, stories don’t seem to be the point any more. So many of our heroes are coopted. They are used by corporations, powerful political entities and entrenched religious institutions.
The truth of things today is hard to come by.
Ah, but there’s poetry. It’s evolved. Poetry in print serves a different purpose now. It takes words as vessels, or perhaps chemically reactive agents, and rubs them alongside each other, with occasional banging, to create a moment we know as true.
There’s a voodoo moment in today’s best poems beyond narrative. A reader senses that something true has happened…in a poem or in a single line of a poem, and we may not even be able to articulate what precisely the true thing is.
It’s the truth we know to be true before it can be articulated. It’s the truth that lies beyond the 20% of life that we can put into words.
You know this kind of truth because it makes you swoon. Dimensional reality swerves a bit.
Here at Chrome Press, to be honest, we like carnival barking capitalism. We like standing on the street, coaxing each passerby, “C’mon, man. Get your poetry here. Get your truth. Best truth on the street. Only $16. Two books in one. Can’t beat it, man…”
But you must know these poems don’t come easy. We don’t care that much about you if you just want to push a button to play music, drink three beers to feel good and click the remote control to laugh. Go jump in the toxic river that’s, well, everywhere.
We’re guessing you’re a seeker, and you’re looking for the truth as if it could only come from outer space. This Planet Earth is too far gone.
John Kilroy’s poems are constructed largely in contemporary, almost conversational tone and language. It’s as if we’re reading the works of someone who we just spoke with in a meeting of co-workers, or at a family gathering, or a casual neighborhood Saturday night party. Someone animated, perhaps. Someone different. He writes with the words that were always in his throat. Southern California. But, there seems to be a radiation off these poems. A hint of energy yet to come for the reader who lets go, and makes the effort. As if our words alone held a power that could be used to bewitch us somehow.
In short, Kilroy uses our words to tell our stories to address our time. And, yet, there’s a boldly epic quality to it all that seems to hark back to the beginning of poetry, when everything was epic. In the final book within “Proof of Flight,” Kilroy seems to attempt to take us to a new place. Impossible, right?
We think you might want to read these poems. It won’t be easy. But that’s a necessary ingredient for adventure. To be frank, only surfers have put Kilroy’s work into print. The top literary publications won’t publish him. So, we’re off the grid here.
Poems aren’t complete until they’re read. Without a reader, they don’t exist.
We’ll leave it up to you, because that’s the truth of it.