How to coax a poem out of hiding was the general theme of last week’s poetry interactive at Artspace At Untitled. I was joined by Ben Myers (Oklahoma Poet Laureate) and Chad Reynolds (of Short Order Poems and Penny Candy Press) in talking about methods and meanings of our own practice of poetry.
Special thanks to the writers and artists who came out to listen and who wrote fascinating pieces of their own right on the spot!
To add to the fun of the evening, our favorite influences showed up in spirit as we traded tips and threw out prompts. It seemed as though William Wordsworth, Ted Berrigan, Richard Hugo, Bernadette Mayer, and even, for a moment, Doctor Who showed up.
I was reminded of my first poetry teacher, Betty Shipley, who often focused on gathering language, and continually wrote the code “ww” on my paper. Wrong Word. She was such a believer in finding the just-right-word. She was a proponent of the scavenger hunt. Just go look on page 52 of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Betty would say. She played the sheriff and the seer and other funny juxtaposed authorities.
So, in this spirit of play and happy exchange, I’m inviting you before time runs out (Sept 22) to come downtown (1NE3 street) and participate in A Hiding Place. As Betty would say, there is something in that gallery you need to know. Just be open to it and let color, shape, contrast, language, texture, sound, story, movement, talk to you like an old teacher.
And for your scavenge pleasure, here are 8 evocative lines from the participating poet which you can look for on the finely letterpressed poems mounted on the wall.
Ben Myers, Jeanine Hathaway, Chad Reynolds, Julia McConnell, Anita Skeen, Jane Vincent Taylor
The result of my body’s friendly fire///once fresh cream now pinked by Oklahoma dust// / duppies good and ornery vex me here///you have chosen not to open///the labyrinth of wrong turns taken///we break for higher ground///on an altar of cardboard box///we each imagine on the other side///
Before you leave, please thank the Gallery geniuses, Rebecca Bloodworth and owner, Laura Warriner, for bringing us all together in this way.
Then make something. You know you want to.