Originally Posted: September 10th, 2013
Updated: January 4th, 2020
This past Saturday, I typed free poetry while riding the Metro Gold Line.
It was part of an event put on by Jessica of Poesia Para La Gente. Their mission statement is right up my alley: “an organization that attempts to bring poetry to places and people who would normally not be exposed to the art form.” I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to get together with other poets in such a public way. It was an incredible event to come home to, and I’m glad I had the chance to listen to poetry on the train.
The basic premise of this event was “poetry in motion.” Quite literally! Several of us got together and shared poetry while riding the Gold Line. It’s always fascinating to hear the different ways people choose to recite their poetry and perform spoken word. I personally prefer the quiet intimacy of Typewriter Poetry; though I wrote poems on the spot, I chose not to perform them.
There is also an article in the LA Weekly blog.
Jessica, the event organizer, wrote a beautiful post in response to a private thank you I sent her. I continue to be amazed and humbled by such beautiful people–
Here’s the thing, the Typewriter Poet doesn’t need to perform a poem, she doesn’t need to be heard (in the conventional way), nor is she interested in promoting herself. She only wants to type poems for people, for free. Spending time with her on the train made me think that maybe she wants to form a road of communication between symbols and her internal voice that’s already communicating with our collective conscience. And then I realized she’s already been doing that. And isn’t that the nature of poetry? You meet her and realize how calm, collected, peaceful she seems, not exactly your everyday poet.
At the end of this post, you’ll find an edited version of one long poem I typed during the ride (“Metro-type Type”). It’s sort of a document-slash-tribute to the day we spent running around, Metro stop to Metro stop, all under the Los Angeles sun. Completely inspired by fellow poets, Los Angeles, public transit, strangers, words, the birth and death of images, love, life, staring out windows as the world passes by…
You might notice I got some much needed help from the kids toward the poem’s end.
Without further ado, “Metro-type Type.” (To read a slightly bigger version, click here.)
This one was hard to translate.
It’s a jump throat magic
varied tones, yes,
“you cannot film on the platform
unless you have authorization”
you are a performance
trains must ride
the beauty of body
(‘the’ is a word misrepresented by the dictionary.)
And, to what? And and.
The this, the that.
All the while, houses
there is emancipation in these xxx ancient floorboards.
The interpretation of dreams:
dying language, each night
we propaganda nightmares
and make deities of light.
n o n o omeeotol
xxx how to push back. claw desperate
l o L e o sfia ometeotifkdit y nadia
Down in the cold dark
shapes run down
in the cold
a t i ni mo leio.oouuuuuyyT [email protected] 1/4 1/2 p
ak ii uuuuuuuvvmmmmm
Will you play with me at the playground?
sept 7th 2013