There have always been poets in my life.  I read them in my youth and, especially at times of deep reflection, tried to mimic their expression, within the confines of verse, or lyric, giving ink to the torrent of thoughts swirling around my youthful pain and misunderstanding.  Dickinson and Thomas, Browning and Emerson, Kerouac and Whitman filled my eyes in those days, although I must say I recall much less than I read. 
Their craft left within me a need to make sense of times and events in my life, and led me not so much to poetry, as to self-talk somehow reminiscent of it.  And my life of dramatic twists and turns, more so perhaps than the lives of others, although I cannot say why, provides many bits and pieces of experience, so that there has always been a stream of ideas invading, competing with one another for a hearing.   And in these past few years especially, I have begun to write down these impressions.  My utilitarian side, represented verbosely by one I love so much, strives to write something of more use to others, something practical, and still these fancies persist. They plague me, these little works that emerge from who knows where to speak to me of truth and to call forth remnants of the life I’ve lived.  Ways of saying things that are arcane and unusual, modes of expression and the bending of language to do what was not intended; these things capture me.  Some emerge full-fledged poetry, all rhyming and rhythmic from the start, as I awaken in the morning or when I try to sleep, leading to an idea not yet quite formed in my consciousness; emerging to teach new meanings for things I thought I had always known.  Others begin as thoughts, phrases, assembling themselves before me, improvisational like jazz, not quite free verse, yet not conventional in the way poems are supposed to be either.  And so, with no great plan in mind, I continue.  And as long as these curious spectacles continue to present themselves I will present them here, my rhymes, rants and ramblings, an architecture of experience.

 24 Poets and 1 Astronaut 5"x5" Linocut by Marc Snyder 2002

First row:  Alfred Lord Tennyson - Robert Browning - Walt Whitman - William Butler Yeats - Gertrude Stein
Second Row: Robert Frost - Carl Sandburg - Wallace Stevens - J.D. - T.S. Eliot
Third Row: Edna St. Vincent Millay - Neil Armstrong - E. E. Cummings - Langston Hughes - W. H. Auden
Fourth Row: Randall Jarrell - John Berryman - dylan thomas - Gwendolyn Brooks - Philip Larkin
Fifth Row:  Gregory Corso - Allen Ginsberg - Anne Sexton - Sylvia Plath - Frank O'Hara

Creative Commons License
An Architecture Of Experience - Rhymes, Rants and Ramblings by William Stapleton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.