A few months ago, I had the pleasure of typing Free Poetry at Artisanal LA’s Makers’ Market during the Pasadena ARTWalk. Here’s a poem I wrote for Evelyn.
A couple years ago, a friend surprised me with a lovely gift. He came across Jeremy of Typewriter Troubadour and asked him to type a poem for me.
Have you ever received a typewriter poem written especially for you? I had not. For as long as I’ve been typing poems, this was the first time I’ve ever been gifted a typewritten poem that was requested with me in mind.
It’s nice to be on this side of the table. I now have some idea of what people feel when I gift them their poem.
Some performances were long. We raged past the show and burrowed furiously into the night. Other performances were lonely and quiet, intimate, with soft conversation and relaxed acceptance of letting the flow be. On the last night, our voices rose and fell in play with one another, harmonizing at their own accord to the perfect pitches, intervals, frequencies.
Here is where I am calling out all abled allies of Los Angeles: this is your chance. Your chance to put your body where your mouth (er, status update) is. To move away from the computer, away from the phone, away from your wonderfully crafted Facebook posts which condemn gun laws, homophobia, and Islamophobia, and participate in a public demonstration in support of the LGBTQ community.
I remember feeling strange, to be in the town but not of the town. I came across Shaughnessy’s Our Andromeda while quietly stacking inventory for Princeton students in need of textbooks. She was a local poet, working with the Princeton MFA’s Emerging Writers series and teaching at Rutgers. Now, returning back to the east coast, to New Jersey, to Newark–it seemed like the perfect time to read Shaughnessy’s newest poetry book, So Much Synth, during the five hour flight from Los Angeles.
Joseph Gibbons, a former MIT professor, robbed a bank under the pretext of desperation and art. Recording it all with a video camera, he claims his criminal behavior was inspired by the poet Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud believed “a poet had to descend into the depths of all that was bad and report back.”