And so I post a third update in one day, only to recede into silence again for months. Or not! Who knows!
I wanted to share some images and video from a recent video I did with Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence at the Indiana Writers’ Consortium. They appear below.
I flew into Chicago for the reading, and spent a few days there. One day I was walking down Milwaukee Ave and a man called out “Poems! Poetry! Poems! Poetry!” He was an older man with cataracts and most likely homeless. He was reading people his poems for donations. I asked him to read me one, and he did, a love poem. I gave him all the change in my pockets. He told me he was saving up for a new pair of boots because last Chicago winter he had fallen four times and injured himself.
When I had been walking down the street, I felt wonderful. Here I was, in another city for a poetry reading; my father and stepmother, with support from my uncle, had been generous enough to fund my trip. I have two degrees in creative writing. I joke about being a poor poet, I am many thousands in debt for my love of the craft, but I have a sturdy pair of boots and a place to live, people to support me if times get hard, and people to support me if times get promising. I am afforded privileges by my skin color.
I only had $2.00 in my pockets.
I wrote a poem about this last night. Maybe it will find a home somewhere and I will feel validated for my skills as a writer. It won’t help this man find sure footing.
But then at the same time, the book I was there to read from has brought so many women solace and a degree of peace. I believe in the power of poetry, I do.
No conclusion to be found here.