The poem, alive

These past few weeks, I’ve been feeling poetry in a different way. Maybe it’s workshop, maybe it’s because of the literary organizations that I’ve decided to join, maybe it’s something happening to me neurologically that I could not pinpoint without an MRI. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever it is, it is a marked point in a lifetime when one starts to think in poetry, feel in poetry, and move in poetry. No, I am not a walking precocious self-proclaimed poetry prophet, but I’m definitely a little different. It happens in moments rather than states. It’s a flitting feeling. But it’s pretty rad when it happens.

It’s all in the interaction. This past Friday I had the awesome privilege of helping out Guerrilla in the set up of their poetry installment in the Rochester Fringe Festival. On a cold and rainy afternoon (when I very conveniently decided to wear Birkenstock sandals) I helped haul 20-pound hand-painted magnetic boards and place laminated anonymous poems onto wet tables with unyeilding sticky tack while questioning the well-being of my bare toes and watching strangers fiddle with my words.

There’s something so present about moving actual words around on a board, wiping off the water from laminated sheets of poems, and watching the ink drip from stanzas as the unlamented counterparts flap on the fences of the Spiegel Garden. People say that poetry is physical, but right there poetry was truly PHYSICAL. Poetry was transforming, both from natural and human interactions. Lines were changing and living in different universes, but the individual words of the poem rang with the same truth, as if the words had a character of their own, unchangeable by the changing of order.


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