Friday, June 19, 2015

"Baby Daddy Poems:" A Poet & First Time Father Pays Tribute To His Little Girl

Christal Cooper

article w/ excerpts 919 Words

Baby Daddy Poems by Scott Kaestner
The Tsunami of Fatherhood

       When Scott C. Kaestner and his girlfriend Jamie Karshen first learned she was pregnant he responded almost immediately by writing the poem “game changer”, which is now part of his poetry chapbook collection Baby Daddy Poems by Wasteland Press.

game changer

my girlfriend is pregnant, holy shitballs

can’t say it’s a surprise, we were trying
there were afternoon delights and nightcaps
and nooners and at all hours we were busy getting busy.

yet I thought many dizzy experiences on my way
would have prevented this from happening so easily
wrong…apparently a few swimmers still swimming strong.

now here we are and literally my life will never be the same
don’t know what’s going to happen but know
it’ll never be the same.

i am inquisitive, ecstatic, in a bit of panic
but arms open wide in anticipation
and love plenty.

my girl and i plus baby makes three
hard to believe, holy shitballs

“game change” from Baby Daddy Poems
Copyright granted by Scott C. Kaestner

       Kaestner soon thought the process of becoming a dad for the very first time would be fitting for a chapbook.  In Baby Daddy Poems Kaestner writes poems about experiencing Jamie’s pregnancy, the birth of his daughter, and the evolution of his baby girl into a two-year-old toddler.

       Baby Daddy Poems were written as reflections during the process of becoming a father for the first time in my life.  It chronicles, through poetry, the experiences and emotions I had as I entered the wild, wacky, and blissful world of fatherhood for the first time.”

Kaestner lives in Los Angeles where he works in IT handling procurement and asset management at a local non-profit organization.
Kaestner has published three previous collections of poetry:  Angelend A Go Go, Stardust & A Soul, and A Life In The Day Of A Poet.

The poems in Baby Daddy Poems were written in chronological order, as they appear in the book, except for the third to the last poem, ““That Was Then, This Is Now.”
“It was written maybe two weeks before the collection went to my publisher. The poem has a yin/yang vibe to it and is incredibly reflective of the changes that happen in a life, my life in this case, when you become a parent and this emotional tsunami runs through your being.  With that said, there are hints of loss therein and I wanted to end the collection on a completely sunny sort of way thus the poem found its place in the third to last spot.”

       The most emotional poem to write was “Man At Birth” in which Kaestner describes that moment when his daughter Kendall came into the world on April 27, 2013.     
“I can close my eyes and go right back to that moment for it left an indelible mark upon me, seeing the doctor holding Kendall in her gooey newborn glory and hearing him say, “Mr. Kaestner, meet your daughter.” The sterile smell of the room in the hospital, that feeling of warmth holding your child for the first time and the subsequent taste of becoming a parent, I can close my eyes and feel them all, makes the hair on my arms stand up just thinking about it.  The poem itself is the shortest, most succinct in the collection, because when trying to describe the indescribable, less is more.”

man at birth

there are no words
to be spoken here

this moment simply
must be felt

with your heart
your soul

feeling like no other
casts no shadow

sheer, pure

speechless witness
the miracle

“man at birth” from Baby Daddy Poems
Copyright granted by Scott C Kaestner

In the beginning of Baby Daddy Poems Kaestner quotes William Wordsworth:  “The child is father of the man.”  This quote applies to Kaestner both as a father and as a poet.

“I love this quote and always a fan of layered brevity when it comes to writing. What I interpret it to mean is that in the process of becoming a father you learn the nuanced art of selflessness and therein realize your child is leading you into a whole new realm of existence and in many ways is now in control of you.”

“I think having a child opens up a whole new world in terms of sensitivity as a human being and a poet.   That moment you welcome your child into the world and meet the person you’d give up your own life in the blink of an eye (which) introduces sensibilities previously unknown. As an artist and poet, all that feeling becomes a deep well from which to draw your art.”

       Becoming a father has been like that of a journeyman on the ocean side, walking footstep after footstep:  the first step is The Awakening, the second step The Responsibility; and the third step is The Moment Lived.

“After that (The Awakening and The Responsibility) sets in and is tangibly felt, it’s all being in the moment with your child as a nurturer, a role model, as an ally, a teacher, a trusted partner in good times and bad, through thick and thin, and in spirit eternally."

Photograph Description & Copyright Info

Photo 1
Scott Kaestner and daughter Kendall
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

Photo 2
Scott Kaestner with his girlfriend Jamie 
Karshen during the pregnancy
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

Photo 3
Jacket cover of Baby Daddy Poems

Photo 4
Web logo for
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright 

Photo 5a
newborn photo of Kendall
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

Photo 5b
Kendall on her 2nd birthday
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

Photo 6
Scott Kaestner, Jamie Karshen, and Kendall
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

Photo 7a
Jacket cover of Angelend A Go Go

Photo 7b
Jacket cover of Stardust & A Soul

Photo 7c
Jacket cover of In The Day Of A Poet 

Photo 8
Scott Kaestner, Kendall, and Jamie Karshen
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

Photo 9
The moment after Kendall was born
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

Photo 1l
Jacket cover of Baby Daddy Poems 

Photo 12
William Wordsworth
Oil on canvas
Attributed to Benjamin Robert Haydon in 
Public Domain

Photo 13
Father and his daughter
Painting attributed to Norman Rockwell
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright 

Photo 14
"Poet" sign from Scott K Kaestner's Facebook 
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright 

Photo 15
Scott Keastner in the background watching his 
Kendall run on the beach.
Copyright granted by Scott Kaestner

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