A day ago I was having a chat within a poet/editor group on LinkedIn. I was sharing my current state of angst over an inability to land a theme or structure for a new collection of poetry. The wise woman I was chatting to said “don’t forget to play” or something like that. Which took me by surprise, her suggestion that the opposite of work, productivity, achievement, might be what I needed.
So, I listened. Only three days before the end of National Poetry Month I “remembered” playing. I prepared some little poem bits, this time from a collection of fridge magnet poems I wrote a few years back in another dry spell, and out I went. Here’s how it looked.
In a couple of days time I’ll go out and collect the poems that are left, but I’m hoping they have been found and taken. There is sometimes an uncanny alignment with what is written and what is required. In the past some people have shared their meaning with me. Some have said nothing. Some poems have no doubt been thrown away, or gone soggy in rain, or hung on for weeks. If you read some of my other posts you can share the stories I’m aware of.
And I felt a little lighter in spirit when I came back home, which is a sign of playfulness, I hope. I wish the same for those who find the Pop-Up Poems.
I remember our time away fondly, so many great conversations, meals, and experiences of a new part of Canada for both of us. The Eastern Townships at Easter is very quiet, and so was Quebec City, but we still managed to find patisseries and good cheese and epic grand cathedrals and one day we even found time for an installation of PUP.
So thank you for documenting our process. It isn’t often that I have a kind and willing accomplice alongside me, but you were so patient. Here’s some proof of where we were, and what we did. I wonder who found those little poems?
Saint Roch was a perfect neighbourhood to be a flaneur.
It was a blue bird day, and the poems were alert in their lively cling to the wire, their flutter of twos and threes. The wind cleared their heads of winter, and they soon realized the grape vines clinging beside them were similarly inspired, weathered arms held up to the sun, green ideas budding out in the warmth and light. And then the moment came when a woman reached out and touched one of the poems. How it felt to be chosen and held like that, the woman’s eyes intent on each lettered scar, the nakedness of lines. How the women read, gently, to last letter of last word.
A reminder that I really am really out there, even a little more than I remember. I’m out there with illumination installs in the dark of December, development commentary for the land behind our home, poetry tucked into library books, little lights and poems for my neighbours, and various installations in public places including readings.