Thursday, April 19, 2007

Poetry for the People

This has been my favorite Poetry Thursday prompt so far. We were encouraged to distribute our poetry, guerrilla style. They even provided a template, with the Poetry Thursday logo, to showcase our poems.
I decided to create my own logo for my site and place it within the template. Then, I selected two poems, 153 Arguments for Writing Poetry (something I submitted for PT, of course) and an older poem, which I've listed below.

I distributed my poems in a couple of different ways. First, I went to the center of my neighborhood in Uptown Minneapolis and handed out poems to random people. I asked them to give them to other people throughout their days. Most people seemed not to mind, but a guy who was wearing a red leather jacket and red cowboy boots promised to hand them out only if he liked them. I also gave the handouts to several retail workers in the neighborhood. The Starbucks girl was afraid to give them out at work, so she promised to do after. Then, I gave a couple copies to some friends to redistribute for me.

The second part of my distribution scheme was the countless billboards and cork boards that we have in our neighborhood. The pictures above are from my local co-op, where they have a huge round billboard for posting signs. I dropped them off at all the cork boards I could find in my neighborhood. Lastly, my city loves its freebie magazines. So I slipped some of my poems into the freebies. My favorite match was putting the poem below in with the house buying catalogs.

So that's my guerrilla marketing, putting poems in the hands of people. I like this idea so much that I may keep it up for awhile. Below is the second poem that I distributed.

Ten Miles West From Here, 4:42 AM

Look out the window, now. Swish of red and white tail. Slips
through the cracked fence hole the last guy left broken, unfilled.

Sleepless father flips channels. Seamless, glossy, empty
fantasies of pleasure pass him by. Clutching unfilled

little fingers twitch open and closed, searching solace.
Mother won’t wake until she cries. Young girl’s unfilled

sleeping lips ask the questions they can only utter
in dreams. Next morning, her mouth feels dry, scraped, unfilled.

Six blissful drunk teenage boys swerve past earnest joggers.
Their early mornings, late nights feel memorized, unfilled.

The same small red fox darts across lawns, scavenges for
food. Her starved stomach tightens. Can she survive, unfilled,

staring into dark windows? Can the fox see her full
reflection, mirrored on concave skies, gray and unfilled?


Crafty Green Poet said...

You've got some creative ideas there! Hope your community appreciates your poetry!

Clockworkchris said...

I enjoyed the poem immensely. Your descriptions were very good. The teenage boys section was interesting.
I liked the ways you distributed your poems. I have done a few boards. I think the guy who said 'only if they are good' was doing something he felt was right. He is not the supreme judge of poetry, but I bet he loved it.

Dave said...

This gives me lots of ideas for my own guerilla project, which will have to wait a week till I go in town again. Thanks. (I like the poem, too.)

pepektheassassin said...

YEA for the few of us who did the (totally and completely optional) assignment!

Pauline said...

I can see the small hungry fox darting, stopping to see her reflection in the empty window - marvelous imagery! And how clever to tuck poems into freebie magazines.

jim said...

You went all out with your guerilla activity, both out-in-the-open full frontal assaults and sneaky subversive sabotages. Right on, sister!

Left-handed Trees... said...

Wonderful work! You've left your corner of the world a little richer for you having been there...

poet with a day job said...

totally cool!

Regina Clare Jane said...

Loved the idea of the corkboards- they're anonymous enough for scaredy cats like me.
I know your beautiful poems made a difference to everyone who read them...

Beaman said...

Your story of leaving the poems everywhere is very inspiring. Well done!

...deb said...

I love your guerrilla tactics. Well done and imspiring. And I like the match of the (poor dear hungry) fox (I can see her feet paddign the path) to the housing catalogs. Great idea.

Marilyn said...

Great poem...and I love your guerrilla efforts. So brave! You've inspired me.

gautami tripathy said...

I liked the poem. It has great imagery.

You guerrilla tactics was good too.

Jo said...

I really enjoyed this too.....especially the concave sky line.