Patrick Grizzell


Pat Grizzell in front of his sculpture, "Hands photo Kai Grizzell"

 photo by Roberta Chevrette

Patrick Grizzell is a poet, songwriter and visual artist.  His books include Dark Music: Selected Poems and Stories (edited by D.R. Wagner); Chicken Months (about which Robert Bly wrote: "... the poems have a sweet spontaneity and tenderness"); The Goat of Esmeralda; and, with painter Jimi Suzuki, a chapbook of sumi paintings and poetry entitled Minotaure Into Night. He has a new book of poetry in manuscript entitled Writing In Place.

Grizzell was a founding member and previous director of the Sacramento Poetry Center. He has been published in numerous literary presses and anthologies in the U.S.,
Italy, Japan, and the U.K. He has performed poetry and music with, among others, Allen Ginsberg, Leon Redbone, Gary Snyder, Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin, David Raitt, Ed Sanders, Taj Mahal, Shizumi Shigeto, William Stafford, Robert Creeley and Anne Waldman.

Grizzell currently performs original music solo and with his band, Junkyard Burlesque. He's working on an album with Junkyard as well as on a solo project. John Lee Hooker
once said he "sound pretty good" on the dobro.

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Patrick Grizzell Poems


             (for MW)

One dream is as real as the next.
What I remember is how quickly
you came and went. The dust settling.

I never learned to go so straight.
There's always something in the way:
a room with a closed door
a hat too lonesome not to wear
a woman to whom you'd give a key
and say: tell me what it opens,
and wait as long as it takes
for whatever the answer is to come.

That's the thing. The answer.
I've learned to be good at asking,
at walking towards the middle.
Once there, I can spin.

My trick is to walk in the direction
I am facing when I stop.
There is always a surprise: a door,
a hat, this woman who, no matter
which direction I walk, is turning a corner.

She knows. Dreaming is risky.



What will happen today without one
knowing that will fall on us in a week
or a year like a blanket or stone or wind
and cross our eyes and breath with its
sudden or slow arrival?

It's already done.

You know the deal:

At the moment you know something
it's undone.
Too long in the sun and the skin
begins to sing.
Fall in love and dreaming
pounds in the heart like redemption,
but from what, you ask.

After all measuring, what strikes you
is that you will make any decision out of
passion anyway.
Consequences will be a surprise
even if you know that lingering too
near the fire has them.

And in that, the beauty of the whole damn thing.









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