Monday, July 10, 2006

Upon Meeting a Poet at the Barnes and Noble Cafe

Can I write you a poem?
I notice you have a lot of interesting books.

Um. Sure. I guess.

I did have a pile--
15 potential books
to add to my classroom library
a resource book on how
to teach discussion
and a few odd volumes of poetry.

I believe everyone should have a poem
written about them at least once.
So I go to books stores and cafes
and write poems for people.

I'm for more poetry in the world...
I can participate in this.

What continues is a fairly awkward interview--
the poet asks me questions
I give guarded answers
and realize that, poetry or not,
I really just want
to be left alone with my books
not sharing my life with the cafe poet
as he takes notes.

What are you drinking?

Iced tea.

What kind of iced tea?

Green tea.

Well that's interesting.

I didn't really think so.

But then again,
perhaps we all need wandering poets
slipping in and out of our lives
waiting to post a poem over an ad
for a Barnes and Noble
chocolate cupcake.
Maybe we should all be finding
poems in garbage cans and
file cabinets. Refrigerators and
sock drawers and green tea.

The poem written for me:

Emily says the children she reaches
Are the main reason she teaches.
I easily picture her leading
Fifth graders to the world of reading.

-Marc 5 July '06

7 Comments:

Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

That's very interesting - did you have to pay him for the poem? Or was he composing 'real good for free'(to steal a line from a Joni Mitchll song.)

3:12 AM  
Blogger ecm said...

no money was exchanged...it was all out of the goodness of his heart :)

8:35 AM  
Anonymous susanna said...

That's an interesting encounter at a bookstore, a nice little something that you'll remember for quite awhile. He's right - we all should have a poem written about us! And I like your thoughts about finding poems in garbage cans and file cabinets, refrigerators and sock drawers and green tea. That idea has me smiling this morning. :)

9:41 AM  
Blogger twitches said...

Your poetry, to me, is so subtle - conversational, but it sneaks up on me anyway with something unexpected and decidedly poetic. I love the dialogue you included with the writer, and ending with the poem written about you is so great.

This reminds me of a poem called Valentine for Ernest Mann.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

You've had a poem written for you! Now, that little episode would make a great poem...

3:30 PM  
Blogger Deezee said...

great story, though I think you trump him in words and images, but the exchange is one of those life moments not easily forgotten.

this has made me smile.....

7:13 PM  
Blogger ecm said...

Yes, I am familiar with Valentine for Earnest Mann. It's a great poem and I think did inspire that stanza towards the end of mine.

10:46 PM  

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