A few weeks ago at the Stone Soup Poetry Open Mic in Cambridge, MA I had the pleasure of meeting an up and coming Greater Boston area poet by the name of Emilio Phoenicio. I watched him perform a few poems and found his reading style to be subdued yet charismatic, effortlessly painting vivid pictures with words without forcing the issue or going over the top. Emilio gives each piece exactly what it needs, utilizing a less is more approach to his performance style. In an age where many poets and musicians try to do much with their time at the mic, Emilio’s laid-back approach is both refreshing and calming. I was lucky enough to catch up with Emilio after his read and found him to be a very humble and intelligent guy.
When he mentioned that he had a poetry book coming out, I jumped at the opportunity to use this forum to help publicize his work in any way possible and after a few correspondences I’m happy to share with our readers two select poems from Living Breathing Poetry. For those interested in purchasing the book for the low cost of $10.00 + shipping and handling, Emilio asks that you contact him directly on his Facebook page or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before we get to Emilio’s poems, namely “Living Breathing Poem” (from where the book itself borrows its name) and “The Jigsaw”, let’s learn a little bit more about our feature poet. Mr. Phoenicio just completed his Master’s of Divinity at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology this past May. He describes himself as “a deeply spiritual person” who loves to both laugh and make others laugh as well. His humor however is not represented in his poetry, which he warns is much deeper and “more intense” than his oft-jovial demeanor. We’re also happy to report that he’s a self-proclaimed “lover of Boston sports,” always a positive in our humble opinion here at JP Lime Productions.
Emilio cares deeply for others and wishes to have an authentic impact on those he comes across in his daily travels. He notes that he discovered his talent with words in the past couple of years and couldn’t be more grateful for it. Lastly, Emilio enjoys inward reflection and strongly believes it is a necessity for his own personal existence. With that in mind, please do yourself a favor and check out his poetry. Based on the following two selections as well as his live readings at Stone Soup, we’re confident that you’ll find his writing style to be honest, creative, powerful, vivid, and introspective; ambrosia for the mind and soul if you will. Enjoy.
Living Breathing Poem
I am not a poet. I m a living, breathing poem,
And my essence is poetry.
I surpass forms and metrics and genres—
You cannot categorize me.
I’m well-timed, yet I remain timeless like Eternity—
And I’m delivered impeccably.
I have not made meaning, but I continue to make meaning.
I’m a scene that is always unfolding.
I am profundity Incarnate.
I’m direct, yet I remain ambiguous.
I’m not to be analyzed, but actualized. I’m vision and application—
I am animation brought to life.
My audacity provokes thought that leads to action and revolution.
I occupy the intellect and make my way down into your soul.
My impression is indelible.
I don’t strike a chord. I strum a melody in you.
I evoke emotion that is hidden. Not known.
I stir, and I buffet, yet I’m calm.
I’m not impressionable—yet I grow more impressive.
I’m not a poet. I’m a living, breathing poem that was inspired
Before the foundations were laid.
While I was in the womb, I was brainstormed before birth.
The editing of time was for my growing and pruning—
I am the first, the rough, and the final draft.
I am not a poet. I am a living, breathing poem that is not spoken, But witnessed. I’m not to be taught.
To some in the present,
And to those waiting for sustenance in the future,
I am inspiration. I will be imitated; I allow you to plagiarize,
But do not dare deface me. That is unforgivable blasphemy.
I am not a poet. I am a living, breathing poem;
When criticized, I grow more resilient in my defiance.
I’m the living, breathing pillar
That masses gather to find support in.
I’m a living, breathing tradition
To be passed down from generation to generation.
There’s no need to translate me—
I know the universal language.
I am not a poet. I am a living, breathing poem.
I do not spark the flame of change, but—
I am the wick in which the flame burns to enlighten.
I can neither be forgotten nor remembered.
I exist in memory eternal.
Due to one grand boredom,
How I more than willingly took the invitation,
To come and see nature in its purest and barest level of beauty.
The peaks and valleys posed many challenges,
From one to another,
But the reward for reaching the next was ever-giving,
No matter how far I had to push my spirit’s capacity
To its limits and beyond, to find resilience that was hidden,
For the dagger in my heart that had been the source
Of the brokenness would not be my undoing.
It has transformed into an Excalibur which needs no removal,
In which my strength would generate and secrete from.
The mountains that formed
Would be moved from the foot’s stomping,
Which would jolt the plates underneath to collide
And shift them from before me.
I would not even think to look at them
Through the rearview mirror, for they had passed.
I don’t wish to become a pillar of salt.
I notice the sun that is trying to hide behind the tree,
But it cannot camouflage itself.
It steals a glance at me, so I glance back.
We are caught in stare-down. The intensity grows.
Neither of us wants to back down.
But I know that night time is its reaper.
It will come to take him soon—only briefly,
For it is born again as it passes through the womb in the dusk.
My reaper has not yet come,
And I cannot return to the cocoon that pruned my beauty,
For I try on a casket for size.
I must admit I do find it cozy.
In a way it will form into a new cocoon
That will prepare me for greater things;
For I know my life to be questionable,
I want to know if it is answerable in this life.
I find that my rational will not allow me to comprehend. However— I do not submit.
For with each day that descends before me,
There will be a journey that leads to a missing piece,
That will help solve the jigsaw puzzle.