DIANA C. HOAGLAND Engages
Apperceptions of Reinterpretations by Felino A. Soriano
(Calliope Nerve Media, 2009)
[First appeared in Leaf Garden, Issue 10, August 2010]
A Journey Across Borders
Have you ever asked yourself, how much of myself have I stepped beyond? Is there a place for the steps of others to move me forward? If so, you will certainly find the work of Felino A. Soriano a welcome challenge to your preconceived notions. He will help you fly away, away from the world of restrictive conventions, a world that is not consumed by only your perceptions. This work spans some eighty pages of over 125 poems entering us into the world of ekphrasis, a synergistic tribute to paintings spanning the globe from the USA, Ghana, Bali, Peru, Russia and West Africa, among others.
In this poetry is a self immersed in the rythyms of the soul and it’s metaphysical associations. Many of the artist’s tones have sprung from the heart of a wealthy tradition mixing the energy of smooth jazz and the colors of a painted canvas. The spirit of Felino’s work reminds me of the Japanese Tea Ceremony where the slide of the trombone or the air of the saxophone are like a single blossom that lights up the center of the room.
The paintings that inspire and infuse him represent the hanging scrolls revealing the four key principles of the Way of Tea—Harmony, Respect, Purity and Tranquility. When he writes, the words that we read across the many directional page bring us to a bow of respect that spreads our appreciation of his deep sense of humble honor and authenticity. In the summer, the Tea Ceremony uses shallow bowls to allow the tea to cool faster and in his work we see that sometimes he lays down the meanings to us gently yet profoundly enough to whisper greatness in our ears.
As the seasons change, so does the great work of this man we have been blessed to know. For like the bamboo used to form the tea scoop, each line of this work is also unreproducable, unique and the becoming of a new moment. Though many people drink tea and write poetry, the question is, do they in fact perform the ceremony that rewrites the word and blazes a trail worth remembering?
Felino’s images feel like an internal light through which letters come through as contrasting sprites of a developing spirit, undertaking such beauty that we have to take a seat beside him. His lines and shapes change as he jumps inside each new work. Felino isn’t following some outdated form, he is making form. The pulling of letters across the page, the taking of the ‘soul’ into a new dimension, are the leaving behind for the phenomenal=peace. His tributes to the artists are not limited by their age or school or form. Age is no issue, like Felino’s work, he respects in others that art manifests without time; it is in the time of expression that we age.
Felino, himself, is an inspiration to aspiring writers. He published one poem in 2001, then not again until 2004, but since 2006 it has been an explosion with over 1,500 poems published to date. He exemplifies that when your time has come, it comes without resistance. He shows that we have to reach that place inside and in his case, it is with the courage and respect of one form of art relating to another, it is going beyond, a tribute and personal growth where no one loses and the world wins.
Socrates said to Phaedrus, “The painter’s products stand before us as though they were alive, but if you question them, they maintain a most majestic silence.”
He talks to us. When I looked at “Beth Maddox’s Midnight Sail,” I saw an arched crown in the distance, a single moment of reflection, a single sail among so much purple. What did Felino say? “…Soon: horizon:
walls the mind cannot properly sustain.”
Do you see what I see? It is as if he is emphasizing what is important—what are the limits of my mind? How far can you go if you don’t close yourself off too soon?
Felino’s smooth rhythm is the beautiful result of two stimuli, Jazz and Philosophy, hence, why we feel the dialogue he is engaging in, the importance of enhancing and expanding where the painter started. It is fitting that the cover art is done by Michael McAloran, an artist and poet himself. The two were born to be together.
In his tribute to Diana Huidobro, he leads us into reflection and self criticism with “…expressionistic, value-based reality, stilled into the brain’s copacetic mausoleum.” Do we not see that we have the capacity to look beyond the daily experience, the one that not everyone sees? Contemplation.
Some of the work stands out even more than the rest. One artist that was chosen is Natal’ia Sergeevna Goncharova, who much like Felino had her moment come and became a prolific artist with her own style modeled after Rayonist forms. In 1913, she displayed over 700 paintings in one show. Felino lets us fall into her world with, “…silence walks backwards…golden reinvention.” We feel that reinventing is not only possible but necessary, to experiment in order to let go of the walls that make art commercial, limited and without breath.
The other that captured me was his tribute to Michael Flohr’s Blue Note. Did you know that the ‘blue note’ is the symbol of freedom, originality, and the unexpected? That is Felino and as one friend also said, he and his work, ‘Just Blow My Mind’, incredible, if only we all could be in his class?
And where I will conclude, not where I will stop, is with Felino’s piece on Todd Horne’s Piano Keys (3/4). In my humble opinion, each word is a step to a sound with fingers, word art and rotation, using what was left from the dust of the paintbrush. He says, “…curvature…the how of the why now?” To this we pledge allegiance to obtaining esoteric deliverance! Here’s to good poetry, to life, to bending the mind backwards until there is nothing left but beautiful notation.
Diana C. Hoagland was raised in Wyoming and Colorado. Started writing poetry and short stories at age 7 and each of those have been a lifelong source of inspiration and encouragement. She holds a B.A. in History and a M.S. in Interdisciplinary Telecommunications from University of Colorado Boulder. However, due to various factors including bouts of mental illness, she didn’t work in either discipline. Not to be let down, she spent several years using her writing skills in ventures such as grant writing for non-profit organizations, etc.
She is a proud mother of two beautiful daughters and three grandchildren, whom have also been a source of inspiration in her work. Diana has done a lot of traveling including spending ten years in Algeria. While there, she served as a volunteer teacher of English as a Second Language for three years. This position afforded her the experience of working with the U.S. Embassy on a project for M.E.P.I (Middle East Peace Initiative). She taught creative writing to High School students of which a few of them got scholarships to study in the USA.
Today, she is in a recovery program in Illinois for surviving mental illness and hopes her writing will inspire and motivate others who battle the same or just struggle with their identity. Knowing by example that you can survive and thrive because it isn’t over yet. Her message, ‘Never give up’ and realize you always get a second chance.