Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Brooklyn's Poet Laureate - Ken Siegelman

I'll admit being surprised when I first heard that Brooklyn had its own Poet Laureate. I'll also admit practically complete ignorance of any of Mr. Siegelman's poems. Practically complete because I'd heard a recitation of one or two of his poems at a school program...I think in the early 21st Century. I'm sure he's a man of great talent and integrity; he taught in the NYC Public Schools for over 30 years. Only the best can handle that.

I have chosen an excerpt from his poem "Fading to Zero." It's presented in centered form on the Brooklyn Poetry page, but I'm not at all sure that's how the poet wanted it shown. I'll honor the choice of the webmaster, however. Check out other poems by our Poet Laureate here. "Fading to Zero" also happens to be the title of a documentary about him. You can see a teaser for it here.

from "Fading to Zero"

I’m a hybrid of unresolved bastardy,
Fractioned into superficial evidence
Like a mongrel whose one or two distinctive traits
Tie it to a pedigree lost somewhere
In an elusive past…
All my progeny will forget the flute
Or feathered headdress,
As they become engulfed inside guitars
Strumming an alien legacy.

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