The Literary Mule
Autumn Ballad from a Roman Augur I
The Literary Mule is a series of poems, prose, folklore, and short stories, that I have taken from different places, some foreign, some local—a record of creative ideas and influences. Taken by ways of observations and experiences, then documented in a journal to be smuggled as written pages for books and on stages for performances. This transfer of culture from traveling and experiencing music, art, food, and alcohol; sex and romances, Romanticism and the reality of imposing my will to learn landscapes/cityscapes is not measured—only a calling to understand.
The “Autumn Ballads from a Roman Augur” is my first book of poetry in this series. A concept chapbook with 14 poems I created after the success of several live book performances for my first paperback novel, A to P. In my arrangement, these ballads were accompanied by music in the presentation I call, Vinyl Poetry Live with passages/poems recited while spinning vinyl on a record player.
Since my childhood in Western Pennsylvania, autumn has been the season that brings life in a variety of colors and sounds for which I can sense with a spirited rite. As autumn transitions so do birds to new destinations with songs and sounds like Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring—an influential ballet score. For me, autumn is the time of change (Death-Rebirth) which is my theme for these poems—change. Encompassing Stravinsky’s, The Rite of Spring, “Part-1 Adoration of the Earth” and “Part-2 The Sacrifice” I began with intimate local scenes before the symbolism of sacrificing and a Roman Augur enter this literary timeline. In Ancient Rome, the Roman Augurs observed the flight and actions of birds to predict a good or bad outcome. Wonder where the birds wander… These concepts, like the aforementioned book performances, are an avant-garde approach to the purest form of literature: poetry.
Take these poems, move with the velocity of vinyl like I did with The Rite of Spring, and enjoy my stream of consciousness—poem by poem. To fully sense the affect of these poems and comprehend the effect of this composition, this concept chapbook must be read in one sitting. —Chris Joseph Stancato