Sunday, August 25, 2013

The poetry of Anis Mojgani

This is one of those blog posts that has absolutely nothing to do with my son's addiction or recovery; and everything to do with my recovery.

During my recovery I have had "help" from a few incredibly gifted and talented people. Most of these people are either authors (David Sheff, Anne Lamott) or musicians (Kathleen Edwards, Ryan AdamsMatthew Ryan, Jim Bryson, Hannah Georgas, The Bergamot, Rickie Lee Jones). Their works have had such a positive effect on me and my life and have helped me navigate my way through some very tumultuous times.

But there is also a poet who has moved me and helped me in ways I can't explain. His words and attitude on life speak to me like they are coming from some higher place. That poet is Anis Mojgani.

I first became aware of Anis's poetry when I saw this video of him performing his poem "Shake the Dust" as part of the To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) "Heavy and Light" tour:

I watched that performance over and over again. My mind was blown.

I then started watching every performance of Anis's that I could find online. I bought his books from Amazon. I started reading his blog. I became convinced that Anis Mojgani is a gift from God.

On Februay 13th of this year, me, my wife, and our younger son--who is big into poetry--went to the TWLOHA "Heavy and Light" show at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit. The whole show was great. Stories and music with a positive message, full of inspiration. "Songs, conversation, and hope." But the highlight for me was definitely Anis Mojgani's performances. Seeing him perform live made his poetry even more moving. It was breathtaking.

After the show, we had the pleasure of meeting Anis, who won back-to-back titles in the National Individual Poetry Slam in 2005 and 2006. Standing next to him I felt like I was in the presence of greatness. Because I was.

If you like poetry at all--or even if you don't think you do--I highly recommend that you check out the work of Anis Mojgani. There's no doubt that his words have made a difference in my life. Maybe they'll make a difference in yours, too.

Here's a great video of Anis performing several of his poems. Check it out. I think you'll like what you hear and see.

"So when the world knocks at your door, clutch the knob tightly and open on up. And run forward. Run forward as fast and as far as you must. Run into its widespread greeting arms with your hands outstretched before you, fingertips trembling though they may be." --Anis Mojgani, from "Shake the Dust" (from the book Songs from Under the River: Early & New Work, © 2013 by Anis Mojgani).

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