About the Poems
by Pirooz Kalayeh
"Hey" was a poem I wrote with the guitar. I had stopped touring and playing with Cecil's Water for good. I didn't know if I'd ever play rock 'n' roll again. I was living in Newark, Delaware with the owner of the East End Café. He had been kind enough to let me have a room, because I had no place to live. I didn't even know if I was going to make it another day. This poem helped me though. It was a call to everything I had in me. I picked myself up out of bed, put on a three-piece suit, and got a job on Main Street at this vegetarian gourmet restaurant called, Sinclair's Café.
Bit by bit, I worked my way through an undergrad, and then headed off to the Jack Kerouac School. That was where I performed "Hey" for Simon Ortiz. He made me play it for him a couple times over. Then he laughed and called me the "Tom Waits of the poetry world." That cracked me up. It was a pretty fair assessment. Of course, what I believed about poetry and life changed once I found a broken heart and myself shit out of luck again.
I was in the middle of a messy divorce in 2005, frustrated with a novel an agent just couldn't get sold, and taking advice from the shamanic community about what literary agent to run with and just how I should step when it came to love. That was when my jaded sensibilities turned to the BLOOD RED SKIES OF SHIKOW. I spent everyday reading and making little poems and paintings about a pack of Apatasaurus, who found peace and salvation in feeding and listening to their hearts go "shi-kow, shi-kow."
For some reason, this made absolute sense. I stopped wanting to make rules, bestseller lists, or a relationship work that wasn't. It was just the "gentle heart thump squeeze" and "the mantra over and over."
Now I am in South Korea. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance my life as well as TANTO and the other dinosaurs on SHIKOW. Maybe, I'll write about it sometime. Maybe, I'll write about MARS instead. I have no idea. It's 9:16 in the morning. I'm looking out at the city of Seoul from my apartment. It's quiet. John Lennon is playing on my computer. My back is a bit stiff. I could use a massage. I could lots of things. Just patch me through on speed dial. We'll do it all over again.