Nothing Hidden This Way Comes

A poem I wrote for the National Writing Project’s Write Now Teacher Studio in the Teachers as Poets Group. 

Why do this? It is a form of editing that allows me and others to see how the working process happens for me. I am hoping it might help others who want to adapt this idea of translating a piece from text to image, moving and still as well as moving text being edited.  BTW, the Lumen5 version is totally AI chosen vids and images.  I would normally do a lot more editing of that video, but I wanted to show a very rough cut for my few but fine viewers.  I am planning on sharing this editing process and showing how to use Lumen5 in general next week.  Let me know if you are interested in joining a Zoom session next Wednesday, July 21, at 10 am Central Time.

Nothing Hidden This Way Comes

You need contrarians.
I know you hate to hear that
but you need beasts like me,
who really don’t
give an electric damn
for where poems hide.
If they are hiding I say,
“Let ’em hide. Cowards.”
I will tell you where poems do not hide:

They do not hide but are open
in the luscious skin of scarlet ink
in the shade of righteous shouts and dark yawps
in the wild where poems already written lay ready to eat you up.

Poems do not hide in just the right light
or the right humidity or the right moment
They live wherever seed is flung,
in the open and unafraid to sprout and die.

Some poems are unbidden and ugly
and cannot be obscured with abstraction and figure.
They are often demons both light and dark
summoned in a shitty spell circle.
They escape half-baked into the world,
mos def not hiding.

I do not discover and extract a poem from muck.
I build them from muck.
I do not uncover a poem from pugged, manured winter pastures
I reach down and sculpt it from that shit.
I do not think there is secret treasure in the offing.
“X” doesn’t mark the spot,
It marks the start where you bend over
eyeballs only an inch off the ground
nose in the dirt
and tongue reaching out
to taste and know
for certain
that there is a poem there.

I will leave hidden poems to the rest of you.
I have quite enough on my plate
eating the obvious,
alfredo poems
en pleine aire,
on the regular
cracking and chewing their bones
grinding down to the marrow.

Here is the Lumen5 version:

Here is the Etherpad movie version:


  1. // Reply

    Always appreciate the veil being pulled back …. I hope folks join ya for the Lumen session.
    Your post here has me thinking more about the use of AI and the difference in Lumen between choosing from a variety (limited but at least choice) and just letting the Machine Mind go off on its own. Maybe that is a source of discussion in another group inside NWP space ….just thinking out loud …

  2. // Reply

    Their is voiceover option now and a wider and wider selection of files. The AI/machine learning is so strange, even compelling.

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