Originally Posted: February 14th, 2018
Updated: February 14th, 2020
This past Valentine’s Day, I was invited by Shawna of SauceLA to type Free Poetry at Tesla + SpaceX for the holiday. Immediately, I accepted. SauceLA is one of my favorite event producers in all of Los Angeles. They’re the wonderful folks who produce Artisanal LA, an amazing festival I’ve typed at several times before (see me dressed as a Magritte-inspired Bureaucrat, staying up late to make Free Poetry stickers, and making new friends with creative science projects).
Performing Typewriter Poetry on the grounds of Tesla and SpaceX challenged me to step outside of my normal routine and figure out ways to improve my existing setup. I found a wonderful rustic chalkboard at Joann’s the night before, which had a better feel than my usual Free Poetry cardboard sign (often taken out of the recycling bin and scribbled on in Sharpie).
Once the chalkboard sign fell into place, I knew I had to update the rest of the elements: that meant two tiny tables covered with white linen (thanks, mom!), a matching rustic jewelry box to house paper, pens, and other materials (an old gift from an old friend), and of course, a beloved thin green rug that lives in the garage of my parents’ house.
The folks at Tesla and SpaceX were incredible. I got to hear incredible stories about which building houses what machinery–and what said machinery was designed to do. As a front-end web developer, I connected deeply with people who talked about their UI and UX battles with their internal systems. Everyone was extremely generous with their tips–I even received my first Typewriter Poetry Venmo donation!–and I got to type a lot of poems for several lucky wives, girlfriends, and fiancés for Valentine’s Day.
As always, a huge thank you to the SauceLA team–especially Fran, who was the go-to person for setting up and breaking down, and was kind enough to share these photographs she took.