Ryan Khosla – Poetry in Motion

“Poetry in Motion”

written by Doug Geyer

Skateboarding and surfing would probably sit next to each other at reunions. In the prolific Athletics clan, they hang on the same branch of the family tree where sport marries spirit and attitude gives birth to form and function.

Watching someone defy physics, whether on a wave or in an empty pool, and seem so relaxed while doing so, is akin to enjoying great poetry or watching a well-made film. You know what they’re doing is really hard to do well but so amazingly accessible and stirring when it is.

Ryan Khosla, one of two recipients of the New York Studio Residency Program (along with DJ Gathers), is one of those brave and rare souls who has learned how to guide both board and prose, body and video.

Though a self-described introvert, Ryan has also demonstrated an affinity for adventure, venturing off the beaten trail while breaking new and personal ones. After graduating from high school early, he moved out on his own at 17, and began casting around for a purpose beyond illegal art and substances. But the hours he spent skateboarding and spray painting (not officially commissioned works), as he grew up in Loveland and Sycamore, instigated a growing drive to express himself creatively. While he didn’t know what form that would take, he realized he was ready to connect to a community that could provide both a foundation and a jumping off point.

“I saw some of my older friends who were already at the Art Academy making art, having fun, working within a structure. The community and the structure were attractive,” Ryan remembers.

Old friends drew him to the AAC and new friends have inspired him since arriving. He has learned how much he enjoys being in the company of artists who share his passion for pushing the boundaries and drawing new ones. Being pushed in all the right ways by passionate faculty is another element of the AAC’s community which has called him higher and pointed him in new directions.

He began attending poetry readings initiated and organized by faculty and realized it’s what he wanted to do.

“I never thought of being a writer or writing poetry at all before I got here.”
Ryan attributes his pursuit of poetry, in addition to videography, to the way faculty like Matt Hart and Brett Price are able to balance fundamental instruction with the freedom to explore.

“They’re all great at guiding you with the history of poetry, having a knowledge of it, while giving you the room to develop versus trying to force you into something.”

He’s excited to explore both poetry and video during his time in New York. Taking the work ethic he thinks was part of why he was chosen and combining it with a curiosity to soak in the city. All the sights and sounds like a colossal half-pipe on which to try out new poetic moves.
Seduction of Translation (Ryan Khosla)

I can’t quite explain it,
it’s as if I’ve forgotten the smell
existed
-David Rivard

I still wake up some mornings
pretending I’m home again.
Phil brewing his Folgers coffee
and then adding 2% milk with two spoons
of sugar. He would make me a cup next,
and I would ask him to do so because
I wanted mine just like his.
I remember this, most mornings, when
I wake up to make my own or drink
the cold one from yesterday
that I didn’t quite finish.
I translate the hues of light
on the pane of the window,
and seduce myself with the memories
moved from yesterday, to now
where they lay beside the pillow
my head rests on. The trailer park
sunrise through the plastic blinds onto
the carpet couch. The back bedroom and
the front bedroom, the old bowling alley,
and the old grocery store only a few miles
away from the rubber factory, producing
tires and providing jobs for the town,
until it finally closed down
some years later. In the morning
Phil would gnaw his way
out of bed to pick up Cathy
from the night shift at the call center,
where she worked. Cathy would come
home to sleep all day, and then she
would wake up to cook dinner.
Swiss steaks and corn, mashed potatoes and
gravy. Phil would take her back
to the call center. I would watch cartoons.
I would wait. And now when I wake up
or when I go to sleep, I think
once of Phil and once of Cathy,
then I think of coffee and
swiss steaks.

Pricked Fingers (Ryan Kosla)

or these things
on the table
I’ve felt this
before I’ve been
here before this
thing I’ve seen
and so have
you and you
have been gone
but you are
still here maybe
I am gone
but wait only
now wait, no
you are here
waterless and waiting
being torn into