Je me souviens

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Dearest daughter,

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.

Love,

Mom







Fall fav’s…

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With cold breezes blowing and snow making its way down the mountains around our valley, I thought I’d take a look back to some of the Pop-Up-Poetry installs this fall.

And I have to say my experience of hanging poems like little pieces of laundry on lines between golden grapevines and flaming Burningbush was a highlight, the words paper white against sky blue, and the man with the dog pausing, stopping to read, the dog waiting.

Sharing my fav’s in photos…DSC_0019_2 DSC_0012 DSC_0006 DSC_0005 DSC_0004

Wasup?

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Sometimes it feels like that hopeless

In the past two weeks I’ve ridden a bumper car of emotions, smashed up my self-esteem on a couple of occasions, felt the exhilaration of whirling about on the edges and being in the fray. I’ve written prolifically and faced a white page with fear. I’ve read books, and given up on a couple after reading the first chapter.  I’ve felt loved and forgotten, stifled and isolated. I’ve slept in, got up early, stayed home and gone out. I’ve cooked and refused to lift a finger. I’ve called back. I’ve ignored the phone. I’ve blessed my children, I’ve cursed bitten my tongue and said nothing to the myriad of ways my life is different when teens are coming and going like it’s a hotel, rather than a home. I’ve cried. I’ve had whine wine.What waits for you

Poetry is everywhere

And, after wondering what the heck was wrong with me, I asked my biggest confidant in the world (my husband, bless his heart) and he listened, pondered (for at least 30 seconds) and said with great wisdom, “It’s the summer.  You do this every summer.” And suddenly, I was OK again. OK to be me in summer, just like it’s OK to be me in fall and winter and spring. It just looks different in every season.

With a renewed perspective, I’ve jumped in with 2 feet and done the following;

  1. released 25 copies of my poems into the neighbourhood parks, mailboxes, outhouses, trees, and bus stops. (see photo above). And people found them and told me about it!
  2. busked my poetry with an amplifier, background music, sign, tip box, and a liberal amount of fear and trembling. And, to the man at the KYC, if you happen to be listening, telling someone people don’t really want to hear what they are saying is rude. Repeat, RUDE! And, I really didn’t mean it when I suggested you have a good day!
  3. opened the mail to a real, paper, beautifully illustrated, laid out, and formatted copy of CV2, where to my unbelieving eyes I saw my name, on the back cover, in the index, in the list of contributing poets, and, like a dream where you are just on the verge of waking but don’t want to end it… I saw my poem on page 35. Oh, I still can’t believe it. I’m over the top about it. (knowing of course that if you aren’t enough before you are published, you certainly won’t be enough when you are)
  4. met and talked with the most lovely people… someone who is going to work with me on a website & branding, someone who just wanted to spend time sitting by the beach and talking about our lives, someone who wants to collaborate when I busk, and someone who dropped off a book for me to read… life is rich when your eyes are open to it.

In all this, I’m reminded of the words of my maternal grandfather, a spry Englishman who has influenced me in profound ways… always… he would say,

“It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.”

And I was, weakening. But, thanks to God for the people in my life who remind me to clean my artsy glasses (both figuratively and in reality, they tend to be smeared with finger prints, obscure a clear vision of things)… life is rich, and my life is for the most part, good.

Peace, out.

Lesley-Anne SDGIt's how we see things matters most of all

Wherein pop-up-poetry meets people

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National Poetry Month continues, and PUP is still getting out there. Poetry is placed out and about in Kelowna every couple of days, and people read it (I’ve seen them) Some make contact online or mention it to me in person when they ‘find’ a poem. I get a giddy feeling every time I head out with new poems (in plastic sleeves because it won’t stop raining). I wonder where I will place them, who will find them, who will read them, what might the outcome be? I wonder, is this what it feels like to be eccentric? Nah, can’t be.

I’m reminded of a book I read a few years back, “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast,” by Wendy Morton. About Wendy’s innate ability to share poetry without apology, and for money, which she did as West Jet’s Poet of the Skies, and Chrysler’s Poet of the Road. Wendy brought poetry to regular folks on a regular basis. Wendy began what has become a national week long celebration of literacy in Canada, “Random Acts of Poetry.”  Wendy and her ideas inspire me.

And as all ‘new things’ have come in some shape or form previously, perhaps PUP is the result of this concept messing about in my mind over the years since I read her book. That and the pop-up-stores I saw in Vancouver. That and the desire of all poets to speak out what we write down, at some point.

Here are some PUP installations for this week;

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April is National Poetry Month

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Yes, indeed it is.:)

Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American poets, National Poetry Month has Canadian content. According to Wikipedia, Canadians have been celebrating National Poetry Month since 1999. A young and growing month long word party where poets and poet lovers offer up books, readings, galas, festivals, and workshops… even postage stamps (USA) have been issued to mark the contributions of poetry to culture. GO POETS!

Pop-Up-Poetry thinks a Kelowna celebration is in order, and is popping up in and around town every other day with randomly spontaneous postings of poems on trees, benches, walls, fences, garbage cans and hoods of cars. People are seen reading said poetry. People are overheard saying thank you. People contacting PUP say this is a good idea.

PUP is excited/affirmed/overjoyed/ less lonely happy to know that people really do like poetry 🙂

Here are a few photos of poems popping up as they should, where the wild things are.

SDG,

Lesley-Anne

Pop up poem 1 pop up poem 1a pop up poem 3

What say you?

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Performance poetry 2005 #9

Performance poetry 2005 #9 (Photo credit: Clint Gardner)

Performance poetry 2005 #7

Performance poetry 2005 #7 (Photo credit: Clint Gardner)

Performance poetry 2005 #14

Performance poetry 2005 #14 (Photo credit: Clint Gardner)

So, now that I’ve tried a couple of variations on the theme of popping up, and now that it’s winter and very cold and icy and not the best conditions for street artists, I’m wondering what your opinion is. If given the option of receiving the spontaneous gift of poetry up close and personal, would you;

1. prefer to see some indication of professionalism, like a sign, or a business card, or a published book perhaps, to indicate that the person reading poetry to you isn’t a complete nut job? (ok, well, just because one has a business card, does not mean they aren’t a nut job, but at least they took the time to present themselves in a positive way, right?)

2. keep it casual, eyes up, smile on face, poet walking up to you and asking the simple question, “could I read you a poem today?” and you stopping on your way and listening for a while, attentive look on your face?

3. be more structured, like a lecturn or a podium that said poet reads from (with a sign), therefore offering a buffer between you and them, and the option to pass on by if they continue to read just a wee bit too long?

4. happen upon poetry spontaneously placed in the environment, with no poet attached, and be allowed the opportunity to enjoy without the pressure of the smile, or the voice, or the book, or the business card (like the wonderful examples in the photos of Clint Gardner)?

5. all of the above, at various times and in appropriate ways?

6. none of the above, I just don’t prefer poetry.

Please respond in the comments with your vote and your comments. Thanks! If you like what you read,  PLEASE COMMENT AND VOTE!!!

I think it’s time to hit the streets as soon as the mercury rises above, let’s say 10 degrees C on a day with no wind and perhaps a little bit of afternoon sun. Yes, I sense a wee bit of stir crazy setting in!

I’ll be seeing you,

Lesley-Anne, SDG, Pop-Up-Poet