There’s a pecking order, and I often forget that I’m part of it. Today I picked up two bantam (“small”) Serama roosters. Unlike Arjuna the Duck, these brothers are very familiar with humans and have displayed zero fear at my presence.
Most of the people I typed for at last year’s Artisanal LA event have blurred together in memory. Even still, there is one fellow I have no intention of ever forgetting. He came over with a friend. She wandered off to take pictures as he and I began to talk. At first, we did the basic Typewriter Poetry dance. He asked about the project, I answered with my usual bases covered. Soon, something shifted. He sat down on the floor. I halted my work on another person’s poem. We dove into our hitchhiking and traveling stories; afterward, he shared his love of robotics and electronics with me.
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.
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.