Monday, April 6, 2009

Windows and getting yourself 'out there'.

There are only two windows in my condo. One is in the bedroom, and as we live on the ground floor and that particular window looks out onto the path to the building's back door, the blinds are always closed. The other is actually a sliding glass door off our living room. It leads to a small patio more or less enclosed by (ugly) bushes. There is some privacy, so the blinds could be opened, and I am sure very few people would peer in. But every sunny morning when I sit here at my computer typing away, the clacking of keys not quite harmonizing with the chirping of birds, the plain (ugly) beige blinds are transformed, as if burning, set afire by the sun, to a sort of glowing gold.... is it wrong how pretty I find this? That I keep the blinds closed rather then look out at an entire world transformed by sunlight, that I prefer this one small bit of magic to a greater whole?

It is April, National Poetry Month. It is also 'Child Abuse Prevention Month' and 'Alcoholism Awareness Month'. So that's something.

There are lots of things going on this month, especially online, and many of them are of course focused on writing poetry. April becomes 'Forced Inspiration Exercise Month', with many people providing daily prompts and challenging poets to write a poem a day. I suppose I could take part, but I don't have a lot of trouble finding things to write about, so there's not a ton I could take away from that.

But I do feel the need to feel more a part of a larger community of poets. And while Victoria features a weekly series of poetry readings and open mics at The Black Stilt Coffee Lounge, I've only managed to go once. I haven't been since because it took me two buses, almost three hours of total travel time, and I was only able to stay for the first half before I had to dash out to catch the last bus home.

Sidney itself has, at The Red Brick Cafe, had a monthly reading series going for a bit now, but doesn't often feature poets, and definitely doesn't draw a very diverse/young/lively crowd, which is something I miss from my university days. Le sigh.

So how about I celebrate National Poetry Month by thinking up some new exciting way of putting myself and my work out there? Some celebrate April with the Poem in Your Pocket initiative. People are encouraged to carry a poem in their pocket to be taken out and shared with others at every opportunity. But gosh, I'm shy. That won't do. Maybe if I can just slip a poem of mine into other people's pockets without them noticing....

A trip to Opus had me eyeing some blank Art Trading Cards. I've heard of these before, where artists create prints or original works the size of trading cards (2.5 inches by 3.5 inches) to be traded with other artists, or I suppose sold, but trading would be more fun. How about a Poetry Trading Card? One side would feature a poem, and the other would have a brief bio and contact info for the poet. It could also mention if/where the poem has appeared in print before, and thus become an advertising tool for publishers too (I'd stick at first with published works, no telling if lit mags would consider such a small endeavour as 'previously published'). They could be tucked into library books, left on the shelves of bookstores, on bus seats, and cafe tables!

I made a prototype Poetry Trading Card. Actually its just an index card cut down to side with everything handprinted... it's terribly lackluster. Very blah, very... amateur!

Ever get an idea that seems brilliant, and its sooo exciting and the more you think about it the better it gets... but then you over think it... and then it just seems stupid?

I got to that point. My fantastic Trading Card Idea hit the silly point. No one else seems to be doing this, who would I trade with? And the idea of hiding works in books has been done, although not with anything quite so 'take with you and share'. This is cool, and I'd join in, but... 25$? Maybe next year.

So. Give up? Nah! Broadsides are too big, trading cards too oddly shaped... but business cards? Everyone carries business cards, hands out business cards, pins them to bulletin boards, leaves them strategically placed, hell, they even trade them! So the next obstacle to leap over... can a poem fit on a business card? I'm going to keep working on this. As I type I've got another window opened to, an apparently awesome business card printer where you can get any number of images printed to one side of the card, with printed info or logo on the other. I'll experiment with this. We'll see.

Speaking of windows, did I mention my view of the dumpster from my living room sliding glass door? Maybe that's why I keep it closed ;)


  1. Great blog - nothing wrong with magic wherever you find it!
    (and nothing like the sun rising over the dumpster...)

  2. I like the idea of poem on one side, baseball card on the other. So long as all the poets posed holding bats and wearing uniforms...