The Poetry of Intimacy: A-lan Holt at TEDxStanford (Full Transcript)

My name is A-lan Holt, and I am a poet and a playwright. And this afternoon, I’m going to be performing three poems for you from a collection of poetry called Moonwork.

And Moonwork is all about love, and it’s all about intimacy, and all about how those things utterly transformed who I am. Here we go. One: “Dark room”

My room is this dark place few persons find their way into. Tonight two persons beat on opposite sides of the bed; I am afraid one of those persons is me on top of you. The first time we kissed, we make love, slow and boring and all sorts of romantic, your shirt canopies over my face, I smell you, musky and lovely and springtime, I smell you, whispering into my ear – new moon calling here I come.

Two: “Essences of Jeff” I know the essence of you already, been with you now two weeks too, the kind of time allow you to recognize things without words, like the kind of energy shifts make you need to hold someone different and touch them lighter and kiss softly against their hair and hold them despite the stranger that they are, strangers that we are save a few dates old and the time.

What is the time and this feeling, this spinning into the inside of my stomach? What is this star, this sun rising over us as we lay spilling into each other spilling, and what is the wind singing? There must be magical things above us like chimes ringing in the distance, there must be magical things above us because you are above me, and you are there for the first time, clear and in focus, and looking into these dark and open eyes of mine and looking for something, perhaps, or just searching and waiting for me to come back, come back softly, come back from another place, and I am learning for the first time that this is not falling, this is myself, vulnerable and alive and in relation.

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And this last poem is a poem that I wrote for my daughter. Her name is Indigo. And the poem is called “Indigo Sun.” The night we discovered you, we poured a canteen of water over our heads; it did not let up for hours, just rushed over us in this endless sea of emotion and wetness and the magic of it all, two kids awake. In the morning I am deciding if I will keep you with me for term, hair still dripping from the night before, the whole of you growing on the inside of my stomach like nothing even happened, just lovemaking, nothing even happened, just curiosity, just two kids trying to do right by God. Thank you.

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