In my neighborhood, poetry has assumed a physical body called Arthur Tugman. I met him just the other day when he stopped by where I work. Initially, I was a bit taken aback when he wasted no time unleashing his unique expressions. Each phrase, each word had its own pronounced bodily accompaniment, as his thin frame bent this way and that to add punctuation.
As I moved around, he followed, keeping me within earshot of his rapid deliveries. This guerilla-style marketing of his poetry prompted me to wonder what he was drinking. When I remarked he had a lot of energy, he proved he could engage in dialogue, by responding that he drinks a concoction of natural ingredients. Before I could fill the air with a counter response, he slipped in a quote by Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese -American author. He followed with a few of his own.
Once he got going he was not easily stopped. His sister called him several times in an effort to coax him back into his BMW SUV sporting the vanity plate POETL8.
His words and body were so merged I wondered if his spoken words could be disentangled from his jerky movements without reducing the experience to something akin to drinking flat Pepsi, but here goes a few of his lines plucked from his website:
Prosperity is yours if you will claim it. Poverty, if you deny it.
If Einstein were alive today I believe he would say, Mass without Volume is Prayer
Eros Vs. Errors is a love hate relationship.
'New Age' is Jung, Old Age is Freudightening.
Marital separation, Star Wars style: May DiVorce be with you.
Was he some kind of a middle-aged rap artist trying to dance to his own beat? Or was he some Disney character that never left Walt’s drawing board?
Once thing is for sure, I will, henceforth, be somewhat bored with verbal deliveries that lack some animation. Arthur has spoiled me.
A local comedy club allowed him to get on stage, but one must wonder if this is where his work can wax most poetically. Maybe no other format is necessary than the street, the parking lot, and the grocery store for this modern day troubadour. He seems in his element celebrating Shakespeare’s popular phrase, “all the world’s a stage.”
For those that don’t get his uncanny style, he, of course had a comeback:
If after taking all your multiple One-A-Day vitamins
You can’t laugh at my jokes
You could be just a little bit irony deficient