Saturday, July 21, 2012

the poet is in!

So Lightsey Darst, who wrote this explosively wonderful book called Find the Girl, hosted a Walker Open Field event called "The Poet is In," and on several days in July, she had her team of poets come spend a shift chatting with the public about whatever they so chose:  writing a poem for them, creating prompts for them, discussing any aspect of poetry, explicating a poet, the like.

Opal and I shared a Saturday shift in the bright sunshine on the oversized picnic tables in the gravelly courtyard.

Opal had a lovely dice game, which would allow you to roll for her to read a poem to you (many of which were hers, some of which were favorites) or be given a writing prompt (she had some incredibly smart ones and she emailed them to me, so I'll be un-stucking myself with them in the near future).  I brought Neruda's "Keeping Quiet," as I thought it appropriate post-Colorado shooting, and I use it often with students on the anniversary of 9/11. 

What I loved most was just simply conversing with strangers.  A pair of nearby gentlemen, who run The Conversationalist's Cafe, took some time to chat with us and we shared our quests; I was so inspired by their desire to pull interactions out of the digital and into the personal that I gave them each a copy of my chapbook.  I think giving away copies like that is most satisfying--I know they will read it, I can only hope they will enjoy it, and I got to know a little bit about the people who will get to know that experience of Alzheimer's, memory, old love.

Oh, and I had to take a screen shot of this, because there's my last name and Opal's and it's the Rain Taxi events calendar and there we are doing something at the Walker, like a pair of Real Life Actual Poets:

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