here are the various "Introductions" I have written
for my collected works over the years. Beginning in 1972, I
wrote eight separate "Introductions" as I expanded
the Volumes of poetry I wrote. It has taken me eight years to
create the "new" Introductions webpage. The
"original page" from the Homestead site, has been
online since the early aughts, but I only had three of the eight
introductions on the page. Now, for the first time I have collected
all the introductions, and have penned a brand new introduction
for 2007. I am creating this page finally in May of 2007. At
first my "Introductions" to the actual "Poetry
Volumes" were semi annual. As I created new "editions"
of my physical "Poetry Volume(s)" throughout the years,
I added Introductions. I have now transcribed all the Introductions
that had not yet made it to the internet. If anything, this
serves as "one man's reasons" for writing poetry about
life throughout life, or "why I write Poetry"
A Loosely Constructed Essay" was the first introduction,
and was created when I collected all my poetry and transcribed
them chronologically in 1972. Since I wrote 134 poems in 1971,
I wanted to be able to display all my poems in one place. A
lot of early "art" and "literature" I created
as a child was forgotten, but I didn't want to forget my poetry.
I knew I had a gift, and this was a gift I would wrap up and
present to people. Although I handwrote the poems, I did type
everything through December 1972 for inclusion in the first
"Volume" of my "Collected Works". The volume
was typed, but the Introduction was handwritten. I still printed
neatly in the 70s and 80s. amd I would always create a poem
Two years later, I bound the college poems into another larger
"Volume" and wrote the 1974 Introduction "Poetry:The
Lifeblood of My Humanity" which is mainly a dissertation
on the suicide poems I had written. Most of the poetry I had
written in the latter year of high school and in college are
negatively themed, owing to the turmoil facing my family and
me at the time. I used to "loan" my original Poetry
Volume to friends, usually girls and women, and most definitely
those gals I wished to woo. Even after college ended for me,
I continued to write poetry.
1977, approaching the age of 25, and fired from my first job
in retail management, I spent two months unemployed and wrote
for most of the time, and I collected my poetry into two Volumes,
and wrote another essay: "Poetry: A Reality to Offset the
Craziness". My poetic muse has disappeared sometimes for
a year or two at a time, but after the explosion of creativity
in 1971, when I "found my voice" in poetry through
lots of experimentation, I averaged about 20 poems a year.
The Next Introduction was penned following my most poetic year
since high school. In 1978 I wrote 67 poems, most of them unrequited
love poems for a girl named Cathy. "Poetry: Why I Cry:
(An Introduction to the poetry to be written in 1979 and an
epilogue to the poetry of 1978)" is a chronicle of the
"Cathy Poems" and explicates some of the more intricate
1980 I changed my binders from standard college issue to those
extra large three ring binders used for archiving material.
I wrote yet another Introduction, and also wrote the "yearly"
introductions which grace the webpages for each year of Poety
recently transcribed "Poetry: Looking for the Fulfillment
Exit on the Freeway to Nowhere" basically a drug induced
treatise from 1980.
found yet another Introduction, "On Poetry: An Essay"
which leads with some selections of my poetry, including the
"title poem" for the essay, "On Poetry".
I proclaimed that I would continue to chronicle my life in poetry.
Although I didn't write an Introduction for the next Volume,
I started 1984 with a third volume of poetry, and then didn't
write any poetry for most of the rest of the 80s.
F. Nyiri, poet, philosopher, fool
A Loosely Constructed Essay"
by MIchael F. Nyiri at 19 years of age in 1972.
two people meet, they notice only that outer covering called
the "skin" and only a "pinch" of personality.
They fail to realize that the one standing across from them
is not a walking doll, but a human being with fears, hopes,
achievements, and failures, a paradox on two legs, a map of
life. We so seldom think of others, we say we do, but we feel
sorry for ourselves even more so. The casual passerby who asks
for the time is as much a person as we are, yet we fail to realize
this. He has porobably fallen in and out of love, witnessed
tragedy, and pulled through an accident barely alive also.
poet accomplishes two things in this world of people. He writes
about himself and others. Writing about life is difficult, but
it forces others to realize people are "here', they are
living, they are alive.
poet is perfect. They all try very hard, though. A poem is a
thought or an emotion, expressed through the eyes of the poet.
Some poems are written in a month, a year, others in a moment.
Poems diagram a small bit of life. Each poem is a heartbeat
on an oscilliscope. Each poem is a small part of a great whole.
poet can only be biased. He can't help it. Even though he may
try, he only "knows" himself. He only tries to write
about others, and the poem only proclaims what he thought at
the time he wrote it.
collection spans a few years. When the poet is extremely young,
he hardly knows his own feelings. The poems are merely versed
stories, most with no content other than entertainment.
poems grow in insight with time. Some are bad only because they
are not understood. No poem is really good if it tries to imitate
a moment in life. The poet is extremely fortunate if people
understand what he feebly attempts to say.
poem may or may not rhyme, it may or may not have punctuation,
or strict meters. What it does have is one feeling or thought,
one bit of mind of the poet.
poem is only a group of words. They may be constructed in any
number of ways, but they only try ot convey, to communicate
with others one facet of life.
they succeed is up to life itself.
The Lifeblood of My Humanity."
by Michael F. Nyiri in 1974
I look back upon this volume and ponder, I find my best period
by far was the year 1971. Apt that it should be the last phase
of a particular part of my life and the beginning of a somber,
more personal outlook. Some people can muse all they want about
how three years can change someone, and I believe wholeheartedly
that my whole concept of reality now is somewhat more complicated
than it was in 1971, although outwardly and inwardly I find
this change more stupefying than it need be. Three years in
one's life are hardly a large slice of the pie.
choose 1971 as the good year because it is then that the poet
discovers truth in poetry and forsakes the earlier, more absurd
balladic form found in much of the poetry of 68-70. The poem
which still evokes for me a kind of satisfaction of the art
is "Like Ships That Pass Etc." and I still feel sad
everytime I think about that "essence". The poems
in 71 are the start of directions which take me, sometimes too
rapidly, to the present. In order to keep to a time scale so
that study is more fulfilling in discovering the poet, let me
look at each "series" or "groupings" of
poetical thought in 1971, and then follow them to their inevitable
I undertake that task, however, let me assert my expressions
of my own poetical behavior. In 1972, when I wrote "Poetry
- A Loosely Constructed Essay", I had just stepped into
this crazy world rom the sanctity of "highschool".
Highschool images, which will forever haunt my poetry (cf. "Class
of 71", "Reunion", "Portrait of the Majorette",
"To My Sister", "Ode to Friendship", "Morning
After", etc.can be directly juxtaposed to the real world
images which so clearly bothered me when I wrote "Who ever
said that people are indifferent. : The aren't : To themselves."
("Meditations XIII", 1972) and poems like "Title
Tune" and "Untitled IV".
came quickly in 1971, but as my life slowly changed, my poetry
came out more slowly. I wrote "A month, which promised
so much last month : Is past " ("Reflections on a
Month Gone By" 1972)
became disillusioned with the entire tautology of being. My
religious poems increased in number as 1973 dawned. ("Thanksgiving
Prayer") I fell in and out of love (again) and rushed headlong
into the state of mind I have now with the help from many outside
and inside forces. Poems came seldom and there have been long
periods of time when I have not been able to write at all. (as
when my father recently died) I find now that I am less poetical,
and can take life a little more granted, but then again, I find
myself turning toward pen and paper oftener and oftener to ask
the same fundamental questions.
I look over those many poems of 1971, I can find many "roots"
to future directions, which in 1974, seem to channel into one
mainstream thought, to what purpose is my life, if after so
many revelations in my oh so short existence, I find I still
"so flatly exist" to so many people.
in 1971 stated a basic fact which I still believe - which in
fact has spawned the basis of each "love" poem - that
is if we think about our emotions - we cloud the very essence
of the emotions themselves. "Thoughts in the Cubicle",
like "Martyred" and "Escape", and then in
the sequence, "Failing to Bridge the Gap" have in
them my essences of social protest, which began an early part
of my thought processes, but which sort of dead ended, although
certain poems do pop up occasionally including "91770 Express",
"Impetus" and "My Hometown".
themes certainly are numerous, but in order to clarify how my
mind runs through 1971 to the present, let me present one thematic
concept and it's changes.
1971, with "Ballad of a Razor Blade" and in 1972,
with "Couldn't Help It" I elaborated my suicide complex
poetry, which wracked my thoughts almost completely after two
very unsuccessful attempts at love. The suicide poems could
be traced to portraits such as "Smith" and "Lover's
Little Stranger" in 1971, because "Lover's Little
Stranger" does have a bit of the poet in him - and of course
the last line "Not much more can Stranger take" closely
parallels some of my stronger feelings at the time.
dejected feeling expressed in "Depression II", which
is only a thematic reproduction of my first poem, "A Chlorophyll
Filled Death", was written in one of my truly depressionistic
periods of 1971, but that took root in the later, more sophisticated
poetry of "Couldn't Help It" where the suicidal thought
reaches culmination in accident. The account inspired by "Couldn't
Help It" later appeared again in the more ambitious "Thanatopsis"
(4-73) "a year later speeding home on the freeway : All
of a sudden "where is home?" ("Thanatopsis")
"Thanatopsis" and "Ballad of a Razor Blade"
are not the poet's suicide thoughts in essence, though "Razor
Blade" is the projection of a girl I knew in high school,
and a vision of what I believed her death might be. (The same
girl is the subject of "Wings of Dust", appears in
"Rosencrantz is Battling the Dusk" and is also the
subject of "Last Time I'll Think About Her, I'll Bet")
is the lamentation for a girl I happened to meet last year through
my brother. The poem helps me to release some of my thoughts
and actually only gives the subject some 17 lines.
"The Morning After" (12-72) I use the imagery of "waiting
for Act III" which I still doubt is a suicidal expression
, although it could be. Sometimes the poetry comes out of me
and I don't know exactly what it means.
the poem "Nothing", early in 1973, I changed my views
somewhat, although "Thanatopsis" was written sometime
afterward. With "Nothing" my "poetic ramblings"
reflected for the first time my mother's illness, which is interesting
to note, because since my family's misfortune, the suicide poetic
thought in me diminishes. It is treated lightly in an untitled
poem written 2-12-73 which begins, "I laughed I floored
the pedal..." This means I had found myself somewhat. ("Thanatopsis"
was written for the benefit of it's subject, but unfortunately
she never read it.)
middle poetry of 1973 concerns two "love" affairs,
one in deed and one in thought, they were never really unrequited
enough to cause an inspired suicide rambling which by this time
had been pegged by the poet as a mere theme and nothing to worry
suicide feeling disappeared somewhat when I wrote, in "No
Meter" (1-10-74) "Don't know about tomorrow, but I'll
fight it today." ("No Meter")
is apparent that the poetic mind is changing when "home"
as a suicidal image, turns into the maternal home in "Coming
Home", one of the few poems written directly before my
the second movement of the poem, my questions are asked directly
-and then, as a conclusion I proclaim "I shall know how
it is to feel : My existense someday" ("Coming Home")
I am still there, and after my father's death, he is not mentioned.
In fact, to come back to my recent poetry, this past September,
I am analyzing present relationships again - but what is interesting
is that now I'm having more trouble expressing myself, and also,
I want to say more.
course I deal with other poetical themes which were instituted
in 1971 then developed. For instance, my spiritual poetry very
much developed in 1973-74 with "Four Walls" and "God
Proved Himself to Me", "Poem for the New Year"
and "The Religions"
however, I find my themes clashing and mixing with each other
and poems prove difficult to appear. I even deal with our inability
to communicate in the "What are Words But A Hindrance to
now my directions are channeling into one theme. "Where
am I in the scheme of things, and how do I reslove my position".
From there, I know I will find new, however few, ideas for directions
can see myself lecturing, as usual, and holding poetic discussions,
and letting my closest friends read my volume (or as I call
it , my life thoughts on paper) but I still cannot see publishing
as a desired end. I only hope those who read can understand
me more - and can realize that these cardboard people they come
in contact with everyday are little microcosms of the universe
and have probably been through as much or more tha we have too.
really don't know whether I've written this second preface for
the people who will read this volume in 1975, or whether I've
written it in fact for myself, because I can see future thoughts
brewing, and I do want ever so much to write about everything
I experience. How else can this volume express my complete being.
been tortured this past year with the facts I've been confronted
with in the Book of Revelation in the Bible, and I can see myself
comiling a "Paradise Lost" of my own, but then I remember
in 1970 when I wanted to write my own Biblical interpretation.
never know what to expect in life, and I'm ever so confused
about whether or not I'm ever going to find a release for my
"passionate" feelings, rather than the pen and paper
- but as Shelley believed, we are all striving for perfection,
and the only alternative is death and what's beyond it.
looking forward to my own poetical revelations in the coming
F. Nyiri October, 1974
"Poetry: A Reality to Offset the Craziness"
by Michael F. Nyiri in 1977
I sit down and begin to annotate this lexicon by adding yet
another introduction. (We have to keep these things up to date,
you know.) I'm tempted to use a large amount of old cliiches,
then close the book and return it to the cupboard, where it
can gather dust until next year, when I write three more poems
though, I can think of only one apt cliche, and that is "Here
we go again" because cynically, as I notice I've written
merely seven poems so far this year, I can only laugh and hope
I can "really" sit down and "produce" this
year. God knows. I've got many themes to elaborate, and if I
don't elaborateI simply won't ever get out of the same thematic
Well, then. "Here we go again".
very last poem I wrote in 1976 (out of a whopping twenty for
the year) was titled, ironically enough, "The Poetry Returns".
If I continue this trend, I will seem to suffer only a couple
a year, and I know they will be inferior. The only way I will
return to my loquatiousness in the art is to practice, write
down every thought in my head, as I used to. God knows I'll
If I don't try, then I'll lapse into a cynicism about my poetry,
and if this happens, I can't guess what will happen to my own
perception. As it stands, my poetry is about the only thing
I'm not yet cynical about , and if I can, I will attempt to
recreate why I'm cynical in the poetry of the coming year.
During the past six months, I've been incredibly lonely. Because
of no car, and because of no job, I see few people, and they
have not given me any cause to write poetry. Oh for a poetic
personality like Mike Ford to venture into my life. If not,
then I'm sure I will get angry in poetry, and I'd much rather
discovered two very disconcerting truths. (if they are truths)
the past few months. One is that I think true friendship disappears
as we get older. I hope this is not the case, and I certainly
hope it is not just me. Because if it is, then I do not have
a reason for existing. Maybe my trouble stems, as it has in
the past, from the fact that I give of myself too much, and
nobody else does. However, I think the main trouble is that
I'm not "mobile". When we are mobile, we can see who
we want at whatever time we want and discuss whatever we want.
I find I'm restricted to waiting for whoever happens to drop
by here, and then that person may not be the right person to
discuss what I want to. What I really need is a girlfriend.
Maybe I shouldn't have broken up with Ruth, after all, I haven't
found anybody since who was as understanding of me (male or
female) and all the girls I've met haven't lived up to Ruth
in my eyes. I really think I punctured that relationship "royal"
as we used to say in grade school so long ago.
second observation, I'm sure, stems from the fact that I've
been using a lot of drugs and "hanging around" (at
least before the past six months) drug users. My vocabulary
has diminished, I've forgotten how to correctly express myself,
and I find conversations stilted, uninteresting, and unnecessary.
And if conversation becomes unnecessary, then of course so does
communication, and if we can't communicate, then our world falls
apart and we sybolically die. I think this is happening to me
and I fear it badly.
very glad I haven't had that much time (or money) for drugs
these past few months (not that I'd ever again put them down
as in high school) because now I think I may become more productive
because my mind has been given a chance to work. There is, I
truly believe, and I by no means profess myself an expert, only
one drug worth taking, and that is LSD. This is a "positive"
drug, in that certain "personality planes" can be
attained, thereby forcing truth into the open. The drug is two-way,
however. One person alone cannot enjoy the experience very much.
other drugs are negative, and tend to confuse people, especially
if they are not entirely open with each other or tend to neglect
the "reality" of the experience.(or, to reverse that,
if they point out the reality to someone who doesn't want it.)
convinced that drugs do ot enhance truth or conversations, and
are good only in crowds (where two people can find the same
reference point and laugh at everybody else.) or alone, when
maximum attention can be focused on one thing.
present an example of a two person negativistic drug related
experience (at least for me) (everybody is different) I find
if I want to concentrate on one thing ("Here, buddy, you'll
love this song") and the other person doesn't I'll feel
dejected and terrible, and sense (by the stoned BORED expression
on the other's face) that he doesn't like the record. If there
is conflict of any kind, I feel intensely negativistic and disgusting,
and in order to fight my feeling, I become, as one good friend
has correctly pointed out, an "a**hole".
know this is beginning to sound like a drug treatise, but then
drugs have been very familiar to me, and I'm still trying to
figure myself out in their context. Remember, many people in
the sixties used drugs in order to "find" themselves.
Well, they "found" themselves so much I think, that
they tended to "lose" everybody else, and I'm da*n
sorry that this happens because, then again, as I've pointed
out, we lose our communication.
Well, as I write, I find I'm trying to find answers as usual,
and hopefully I can successfully ask my questions this year
in a poetic sense.
Maybe at some time in the future, someone will read a poem from
1978, and say, as people used to say in 1972, "Yes, I felt
that way once". As a poet, that is all I can hope for:
that spark of recognition, which makes me realize that even
though each living individual is a world of colliding and conflicting
thoughts, a galaxy of hopes, dreams, and imagination, a universe
of sorrows and interrupted reflections, he or she is related
to everyone else by some reference point. We are all part of
a universal mind, whether called God or the cosmos. We all touch
each other's lives for good or for bad, and by relating mine
through the art of poetry, I can only hoe to touch that spark
of recognition in another reader.
repeat myself from my first essay, "whether I succeed is
up to life itself."
you for listening.
Michael F. Nyiri December 12th, 1977
"I'll never really know, but I must try
To separate the truth
From all the lies"
"Poetry: Why I Cry: (An Introduction
to the poetry to be written in 1979 and an epilogue to the poetry
Why I Cry"
An Introduction to the poetry to be written in 1979 and an epilogue
to the poetry of 1978.
has performed one of her cleverest little tricks again: slapping
December upon us just as we're trying to figure out what happened
last January. It seems that just yesterday I was sitting here
composing "Poem for the New Year 1978" and now I have
collected a full year's worth of experiences and written, finally,
a full year's worth of poems chronicling those experiences.
Tomorrow is 1980 - and before we know it next week will be 2000
have titled this rhetoric "why I cry" because all
of this past year's poems have been very negative love poems,
and I see this trend continuing until the subject (inspiration)
of those poems finally accepts me as a lover, if that ever becomes
reality, and the love poems can take on a more celebrative,
not, negativism will control my life. At least until the next
for the New Year - 1978" discusses the poet's downfall
in terms of comedy, proclaiming that Act III will have a happy
ending. Then it ends with "It has to." showing that
the poet still is not sure. (Of course, who can be sure in life?)
He remains cynical.
dominates the first few poems, until the transformation with
the "Cathy poems", a large body of work (all major
'78 poems, about 60) which rehashes the same old theme "I
love you. Why don't you love me?" and adds a few new subthemes.
By the end of the span, one can get a pretty clear picture of
how the poet attempts to win love with subtlety, with praise,
with contempt, with force. All to no avail. Since he cannot
abandon the theme (only 6 poems for the year 1978 were not written
for Cathy.) he experiments with style, rhyme and rhythm patterns,
and even commands some lyricism. Sadly, though, the words keep
coming out the same. This coming year, the poet should strive
for equal or better production, but should pay more attention
to word usage, especially with rhyme. I'd hate to read over
all the love poetry since 1971 counting the number of times
"love" is rhymed with "above". "If
only I had a nickel....etc."
are some pleasant surprises in the poetry of 78, especially
if one recounts the drought of 73 through 77 and some of the
totally bad poetry written during that time.
"first letter reading down" (anacrostic) school of
poetry picks up about four new poems and in "The Language
to Win You (has never been written)" the first letters
of each line actually spell out a message instead of a mere
is some experimentation with drug induced poetry (cf "Children"
"The Definitive Balloon Poem") and poems disclaiming
drugs ("Water on the Brain", "The Last Beer")
One poem which could truly be considered epic is the long (8
pages) "Lyrical Nostalgia and Foolish Nonsense" a
rather "ambitious undertaking in poetical thought"
where the poet gives an autobiography in free verse, delegating
a few lines to each year. If ever I wanted to say, here's a
poem that is me, this be it. I already have plans of writing
another bio-poem about Cathy for her next birthday. The style
echoes some of the more ambitious poems of 1974 ("n...a
strong and deep feeling of...." comes to mind.) where each
verse is simply a jumble of words with little puncutation or
"The Great Battle Twixt Mind and Heart Rages On" the
poet elaborates in great depth how emotion battles intellect
for possession of the girl. Emotion epitomizes hope, which wants
the girl because it knows that true love exists in a romantic
sense but has to be given time to grow. Intellect epitomizes
cynicism which urges the poet to stop the mindless exercise
(as the girl herself does) I'm very proud of this poem, in that
it correctly states my mind's raging battle, and the conflicting
thoughts which occur when one person tries to steal another
from their lifestyle anbd plant her in his own. The poem also
shows clearly how cynicism and romantic love can exist side
by side and how an individual who loves someone and is trying
to win her can easily get mad and say the wrong thing to her.
This poem might very well answer all of the "questioning"
poems in these volumes. Heart and mind are separate, warring
partners. I can see that this is going to be a major theme to
elaborate in 79.
poems work on double and triple levels and some have subtle
double entendres included.
best two songs both describe looking into a lover's eyes - and
the "universal kiss". They are "Solitaire/Darting
Eyes" and "A Personal Note". Both poems try to
capture the moment of love - where romantic (spiritual) and
sexual (carnal) harmony is attained. Women experience orgasm
n this way (the best way, there are others) And men can experience
the closest thing to a woman's orgasm in this way mentally and
feeling occurs very seldom - has never occured in my relationships,
and I've never known any woman who confessed she had experienced
it. (Poets are the only ones, I fear, that even know it does
exist, and nobody reads poems but poets and women (and critics,
but they don't count.)
if the "Cathy Poems" prove futile in winning their
subject, the poet will never be able to fully expand his knowledge
of the subject, but C'est la vie.
and Shelley knew and practiced faking the feeling for many women,
and became known as masterful lovers. (These poets were a lusty
lot.) However, I hold to the belief that I don't want to fake
the feeling, and it only happens for two people who truly love
love (romantic love) is the total subject of each Cathy poem
and all my poetry in general. It is good for the poet to have
unrequited affairs, because "lost love" poems are
very sensitive. However, I never seem to have a true love experience
although I, as a sensitive person and a poet, know that true
1979, I will look forward to fully exploring the love feeling,
maybe asking around about true love feelings in others, or attempting
to make observations. I would love to write a positive love
poem and not have to call it "Solitaire".
find I have a distinct duality which shifts drastically, and
I have no control over it. My emotions rule me and my intellect
rules me, and they fight all the time. My intellect doesn't
trust anybody and my emotions trust everything. My physical
person can't take this most all the time. I'm either cynical,
and assholish, or I'm crying.
the crying isn't just a jag, as I would be saying if I were
"macho". I very seldom cry when drunk. I cry most
easily when I look into Cathy's liquid eyes and see the love
they have in them, and then see the door slide shut and bar
me out as at the same time my love comes out of my eyes so hard
and so fast it formulates in tears.
called this essay "why I cry'. I do physically cry and
my poems cry. Crying embodies sadness. When mothers cry at weddings
it is because they have lost their daughters.
father died, I cried for days, and my sister didn't cry at all.
I remember when a girl in high school's father died, she didn't
seem upset at all and I accused her of having no heart. On the
day of my father's funeral, I had come to grips with the situation.
My sister began to sob openly before the preacher finished with
the eulogy. We all cry in different ways, and I cry for Cathy
as much as for myself because we need each other.
the first part of 1979, at least, I know my poetry will consist
of sad songs about love.
I know now I will only write "the last love song"
when I'm satisfied with love and not until.
hope I'm as productive at least this next year as I was last
year., and I hope I can be less cynical, and maybe happier.
us resolve the situation
Close the book and end the show
Le't touch each other with our eyes
And find out all that we don't know
for listening (again)
Michael F. Nyiri
2:30 to 4:00 pm
to the Two Volume 1980 Edition"
by Michael F. Nyiri in 1980
tome comprises thirteen years in the life of the poet. Beginning
when he is merely thirteen, the poet attempts the difficult
struggle to emote on paper, a task which sometimes proves easy,
sometimes proves futile, but nevertheless remains interesting.
poet analyzes his productivity (or lack thereof) in the semi-annual
introductions, so this simple introduction to the complete work
shall not attempt to do this.
it to say that the poet charts life, however inconsistent, with
truth, and, as poets in the past have attempted, to infuse this
truth with beauty, and create art.
he succeeds, and only so if the reader can recognize him or
herself, for the poet truly believes that all thought processes
are universal, and poets are merely the gifted few who mouth
the reader can understand, by charting the poet's feelings throughout
life, his link, and ultimately, mankind's link with the universal
mind, then the poet's purpose has been fulfilled.
year is sectioned showing the poet's age and some of the year's
poem is ever truly complete....because lfe rarely, if ever,
can be called complete.
F. Nyiri 3-13-1980 Torrance, CA.
"Poetry: Looking for the Fullfillness
Exit on the Freeway to Nowhere..."
by Michael F. Nyiri Feb. 23, 1980
f*cking new decade began over a month ago and I haven't even
written "Poem for the New Year 1980." Will I? It's
taken this long to write the introduction and I smoked a joint
before beginning (a first). What haven't I said in this volume?
What ground haven't I covered? Well. I play this charade every
year, and (Damn, 1978 I did write over 60 poems) every year
I think I'll actually be productive. This year, I'll by cynical.
Maybe productivity will be borne of that.
year I turn 27. There have been 1 steady relationship with sex,
2 without sex, 1 one sided relationship with partial sex, and
one relationship with nothing but sex. What next? Love, my dear
look continually. I watch faces. And now more than ever. But
I'm still picky. It's been months since Diane. I'm still, like
Buddy Holly's immortal persona, thinking it's getting closer,
everyday. But there's nothing for me to do except wait and let
people know. Maybe someday the right girl will find me. I've
found many who didn't think I was right.
I keep looking, and keep asking the same questions about life.
The following essay was written before this that you're reading
now. I wrote it after thinking about it while stoned (I've never
written while stoned before)
feel like I'm at a standstill, but as usual, I'm looking on
the bright side. I'm working inside a store now and I'm willing
to meet new people. I'm willing to practice my doctrines. In
reading my poetry, find a richness of self. Find my soul. It
has touched each poem. If more people acknowledge the impact,
if any, of my poetry, I shall be compelled to produce. I need
this to counteract any repressed cynicism real or imagined I
poem is a truth. It is wholly a part of the poet's emotiion.It
know when you're on really good pot and you're listening to
music and you're really stoned and you might or might not have
listened to the music before; it doesn't matter, but all of
a sudden you find you're REALLY listening to the words, and
they make so much sense, like even a phrase like "she left
him" or "he left her" takes on all the implications
it's supposed to, and you really understand.
poetry is like that. It should be read like that. It is simple,
yet complicated. Easy yet not so easy. At it's best, it says
as mych as it possibly can in as few words, exactly what poetry
it's worst it doesn't really exist.
think that poetry exists in me only when it should. That the
words travel out of my pen without even touching my brain if
the poetry's there.
times it is not there and no matter how hard I try I just can't
wake it up.
can be my poetry's best friend or it's most hated critic, for
I've read it so often lately after not finding inspiration following
the "Cathy poems". Funny? I haven't reread the "Cathy
poems" too often. Why?
will we answer any of these questions? I've asked the questions
in countless poems. The themes are few but powerful. Not the
questions should be answered. I shall inwardly die if I can't
feel the answers.
know the answers.
But no one else seems to.
If only I could find someone
to cast my love's beams to.
all live so flatly
Simply feigning our joy
And I still fell love
for each girl and each boy
my love's not returned
Only abided or spurned
Seems no love have I earned
and the answers are burned.
thought of a term yesterday. "The Freeway to Nowhere".
I feel as if we're all on the Freeway to Nowhere. The world
is a mess. The leaders play stupid games and human lives still
remain at stake. It's been like that a long time. It still is.
Dope is overused by too many people in too many ways, and the
repurcussions are resounding only too clearly. And I speak from
experience. I overuse - tell myself I should quit and don't.
We all do the same thing. It's terrible.
I still laugh. We all want to. I cry too much. (inwardly) (Guess
that's why I laugh so much on the outside) Aren't we all like
that in one way or another?
like the song you hear on dope contains important messages you've
never heard, so does each person in the world. We are much more
than we seem, to each other. And we should reach out and touch
more often. But we don't. When inspired by love, I write poetry.
Sad that love hasn't happened because then I will develop new
essay will divide these feelings into major themes. 1. Love
given. 2. Love returned. (partially) and maybe love returned
by being immersed in care for our fellow humans can we tilt
the world back on it's course.
hope my poetry can in one small way help to accomplish this.
poem (to repeat) is a moment frozen in time- a thoughtfoto.
By fully reading each poem chronologically, one can grasp a
total picture of the poet's life, beliefs, and remembrances.
If he can touch off a spark of remembrance or care in another,
his purpose is fulfilled.
perhaps, each poem shall be written a masterpiece. Perhaps,
I'll become an artist, as I have always dreames. Dear "Mommy"
(oh, that you'd lived) always called me special. Always said
I had talent. My friends see my drawings, read my poems, and
(after they criticize) they applaud. I call myself conceited
but rarely applaud. I look back at highschool (was it me who
said "highschool images will always haunt my poetry) and
think of how important I wanted it to become. I thought I was
good at everything, but then I realized I'm only mediocre. I
don't practice. I drink beer. I smoke dope. I don't care. Is
this an apology? Do I write these damn things as apologies?
Excuses? Well- I write this for myself too, because it is my
poetry will return, triumphantly, when next inspiration hits.
I'm over Cathy just as much now as I'm over Kathy, Emma, Kathy
M., Gabrielly, Melissa, Ruth (ha! ha!) , Karen, Terry, or Darlene.
I'm even in a position to understand my relationship to Diane.
And whatever happens I hope the poems come. Each girl is special
and the words are always fresh because every person is unique.
love life and I celebrate it. "And I shall know how it
is to feel my existence someday."
you dear reader:
are all sailbirds
Cause the ocean's the sea
And lest ye don't fall
Please reach out to me
Feb. 23, 1980
"On Poetry: An Essay"
by Michael F. Nyiri in 1982
words escaping from my lips
Have seen the light of day before-
The apple of my love's delight
Has never shown it's core.
And as I read those words I wrote
They seem to mean less now
For as I have more things to say,
I've just forgotten how.
I'm all mixed up inside, you see.
Though I've said that too, I know.
And as I sit with turbulent mind
My words find it hard to flow.
I cannot say why I want to scream
Or why I'm crying, too.
Or why I think I'll never make sense
To anyone else or you.
"On Poetry" written
December 27, 1975
I am a painted canvas
Which you will have to read
And when you scratch the paint
To find out if I'm a copy
Then you will either love or hate me
And I cannot tell you
What will be the end result
Because I am such a bad analyst
When I try to analyze myself.
from "The Analyst", also12.27.75
Let us resolve the situation
Close the book and end the show
Let's touch each other with our eyes
And find out all that we don't know
November 25, 1978
Lover's little stranger
Sitting by the roadside
Hoping all his dreams come true.
Making up his fantasies
Wallowing in worries
Not much more can turn him blue
"Song About A Man I Know"
began at a timeworn desk, one of hundreds just like it, in a
rubberstamped schoolroom in a rubberstamped town in a rubberstamped
world with a rubberstamped mind......Mine.
began writing words which rhymed and had a sort of rhythm, owrds
which in some prehistoric way and to my prehistoric mind conveyed
a sense of explanation about my situation and the world around
time advanced and my vocabulary grew, and as other rubberstamped
institutions attempted to mold my malleable mind like silly
putty into societal acceptance, more words and phrases spilled
from my brain to my notebooks, asking, answering, ad alleviating
my naive, juvenile fears.
justice, honor, all the old cliches took on an intense meaning.
I felt I would fall in love. Alas, I took great pains to, but
like all cliches, in time love justice and honor and a host
of their brothers and sisters ran and reran themselves out of
the projector and into the ground.
a pretty well placed cliche itself, bore me less and less themes.
My notebooks mildewed and fell away.
prospered, rubberstamping my unique nonindividuality upon everything
I did, making countless acquaintences which I naively believed
were friendships, spouting countless cliched judgements and
dogmas which I mistakenly believed were my own, and at some
times I actually took out my poetry books and rubberstamped
a stanza or two onto the printed page.
which stood out as boggling to my mind inevitably found themselves
rewritten into tired themes on my notebook paper. As life itself
taught me its own cliched truths, the rubber in my stamp began
to wear away.
I was once analytical, yet thought provoking and loving, hopeful,
trusting in my poetry, I became cynical, attaching myself thematically
to death and hate, consequently harboring little desire to communicate
with the people I'd thought I needed all my life.
my book of poetry, my "volume of experience", my "life
on paper" once meant so much to my fledgeling writer's
aura, it became a mocking, whining voice from the past, proving
to me more and more that the more I reached out to touch humanity,
the more humanity saw fit to recoil.
I broke the bond. I proclaimed "I don't need people"
"I don't need poetry." I covered myself with a blanket
of mistrust and drowned myself in alcohol, occasionally admitting
to myself, but to no one else, that I was utterly wrong. From
the frying pan into the fire. The pendulum swings all the way
to the left, then all the way to the right.
present. I am nearly two months sober. I still look at most
people with distrust. I question myself and my world most wholeheartedly.
What better time to pull out the old volumes: dust the pages
off, and try to find myself again. It is a new year, a new situation.
There is really no need for me to drown my inadequacies in cynicism
now. I've accomplished what little I think I can in life, and
now it's time to sit down and write again. Let the questions
make way for answers and the cliches make room for reality.
many years, I actually believed myself to be prophetic, a gifted
chronicler of the human condition. Then when humanity grabbed
me by the lapels, and proclaimed, "I'm not what you think
I am." I stopped believing in myself.
am only me. I do have a talent for words. And I should never
forget that. I also have a need for humanity. Someday soon I'll
satisfy that need. For a while, I forgot my poems. I should
have been reading them. I'll remain "lover's little stranger"
but I'll have a pen in my hand again.
Michael F. Nyiri
December 29th, 1982
"Poetry: morphing electronic words serendipity
a few minutes ago. 1-22-2004
poetry lives on and I haven't stopped writing. It is now 5:45
PM pst on Thursday evening, January 22, 2004. I reread words
from the above introductions, from 1972 and 1982 respectively,
and can't even believe that I have aged. I feel exactly the
same, have the same revelations, the same old questions, and
the same feeling that somehow I have been given a gift which
I haven't yet figured out how to open.
are three more introductions I might or might not add to this
page. One is from 1974, and gives a detailed analysis of my
"Suicide Poems". I explicated freely quite a few poems
which substantially or offhandedly dealt with the subject of
my own suicide, and served to give the dictum that since I wrote
so vehemently about it, I would never have to accomplish the
act. The first two pages of this introduction are missing. I
probably began transcribing it and misplaced the pages in another
binder of poetry or prose somewhere. I'll find them ten years
from now. Another introduction is from 1977 in my really wiggy
drugged out period, and doesn't make much sense. Neither of
these will probably see publication. The third introduction
is from 1980, and I use the words written in this introduction
for the chapter headings for each year's verse listings on the
have always believed my poetic gift was special, I have always
shared my volumes, and still I crave readers, and I love to
hear how some of the poems are able to touch a soul. The poem
"Tragedy" written the morning of September 12, 2001
inspired many, and I still treasure the entries in the guestbook
on that page. I still think these poetic insights of mine matter,and
even though the flow of words is merely a trickle at times,
hopefully the words which I do write are somewhat meaningful.
I've always believed that by "time-stamping" my poetry,
and by chronologically listing the verse in the volumes and
on-line gives the reader a sense of how one soul has travelled,
experienced, loved, and lost, and given voice to what was happening
as it was, and still is, happening. I still feel a rich rewarding
surge of creative insight every now and then. Lately, the poems
have become "history lessons" detailing the rift in
humankind, and hopefully through verse I will find a way, museless
or not, to empathize with humanity, and maybe become instrumental
in causing my brothers to sit down and learn to live together
before everyone kills everyone else. I have always thought I
was able, like Shakespeare's Hamlet, to see both sides of any
story, and I want to illustrate both ways of looking at a situation.
I still feel sorry for mankind, because he can't learn to live
together and appreciate that he will never agree. It's hopeless
to fight, and he keeps killing himself. Nobody is listening
to me yet, and those that do are doing the best they can in
life to love thy neighbor and live together with him peacefully.
the poetry marches on, as it were. I quote the words directly
below from the introduction written in 1980. MFN 1-22-04
it to say that the poet charts life, however inconsistent, with
truth, and, as poets in the past have attempted, to infuse this
truth with beauty, and create art.
he succeeds, and only so if the reader can recognize him or
herself for the poet truly believes all thought processes are
universal, and poets are merely the gifted few who mouth that
the reader can understand by charting the poet's feelings throughout
life, his link, and ultimately mankind's link with the universal
mind, then the poet's purpose has been fulfilled.
poem is ever truly complete.
..because life rarely
can be called complete." MFN 3-13-80
And I don't know
What the hell
I'm talking about
..................(a moment of introspection 12-12-77)