I was invited to post something on their site by the Young Writers Project through their collaboration with the Networked Narratives open access learning project based at Kean University. Then Geoffrey Gevalt suggested I record a reading and post it. So I did, and then I saw a comment about a web based text reader called Narro and decided to let Narro read my poem too. There are many ‘voices’ to chose from but after I recorded ‘Russell’s’ version I made a few adjustments (adding and subtracting pauses for flow and slowing the whole thing down by 25%) to avoid the machine sounding like a kangaroo on crack. What do you think?

Hollywood, California, early 20th century

Compare to my reading

Where I Am From by Mark Corbett Wilson

I am from fire,
from Pyro Engineering Inc. and Advanced Radiation Corporation
I am from glittering quartz, a desert washed by Pacific tides.
(Hot and dry, cool and moist,
it smelled of passion and petroleum.)
I am from cactus,
the thorns, flowers and fruit whose
visions and pain I remember
as if they were my own.

I am from Pictland and perseverance,
from Corbett and Duncan and Fraser.
I am from Hollywoodland lesbians
and disgraced Republican Nixonian Quakers,
from ‘early to rise’ and don’t call it Fascism.
I am from the middle way of Mr. Gotama’s Eight Tasks
before dialectic atheism emerged.
Soy un Californiano. Mis comidas
son chiles, frijoles y maíz.
The indentured Highland lad o’ pairts
and America’s First Peoples,
the prettiest girl at Schwabs’ soda counter;
the Slaughter cowboy’s homestead graveyard.

I am from kitchen jam sessions and garage workshops,
table saws and lapidary equipment,
art cars and personal computers
conceived during new moons.
I am from lifetimes disappeared –
the Jurupa Oak contemplating ancient valleys
obscured by smoke.