I had the pleasure of being invited to do #PopUpPoetry this Thursday for Broadway Coffeehouse‘s Artists’ Reception, featuring the Friday Artists (showing off their paintings and artwork currently displayed at Broadway) and Branches Company (a local acoustic musician).
This was my first live gig, and can I just say how how humbled and awed I am by how my city is welcoming me with open arms?! Thank you, Salem! It was incredible; the evening had a slow, laid-back pace (rather than the rapid pace I’m used to), but I was grateful for it–I had the opportunity to engage in deeper conversations with the people asking me for custom poetry. We laughed and networked and exchanged stories and business cards. Now this…this is what life should be about–being intentional and authentic with the people around you. Busking is hard, SO hard, but now that I know what I know…I don’t think I can stop. Thank you to everyone who made Thursday night such a wonderful evening for me and for supporting your local artists. Thank you to my dear, dear husband for being the best personal assistant! You made this night seamless for me! See y’all on the streets! (And a special thank you to Eddie Cabbage. I’m the luckiest jedi-in-training in the world!)
Images of Pop Up Poetry pieces are below!
The following piece was for a young high school student, Ellie, who had just moved back to Oregon from Montana with her family. As we talked, she told me her English class had just worked on personification poems, and that she had chosen “Wonder” as her topic for the assignment. She asked if I could give her my own take on the subject…which I did, gladly. She was so kind as to let me read her own version as well afterward. You have such promising talent, Ellie! Best of luck to you in your writing ventures! Lovely talking with you. 🙂
This poem below was of my own creation for my dearest friend and colleague, Eddie Cabbage. This man has taken me under his wing for God knows what reason, and has always pushed me to become the best version of myself. He has made me a better writer…reminding me that it isn’t about the fame or the money; that the real kind and best kind of writing comes from a pure and honest heart; that there is no shortcut to success–work, work, and more hard work is the only way; that honor, integrity, authenticity, and passion are a requirement in this profession; that the only thing standing between me and my dreams is myself. I nicknamed him The Godfather because of his flawless wisdom in this writer-life we lead, and it has stuck for good reason. He’s the real deal. And I will always be blessed and grateful for his friendship and advice. You’re a gem, Eddie. Thank you for being the best friend and mentor a writer could ever ask for…I couldn’t have made it this far without you.
This gentleman was sweet enough to ask for a custom poem for his wife…Motherhood is kind of a big deal, and it deserves so much more respect than it receives.
A young gentleman introduced himself to me, saying he “had to find out what was going on” over in my little corner. We struck up a conversation and I was delighted to hear he had recently started dabbling in poetry. I’m so excited for you, Jordan. Write, write some more, then keep writing. All I ask is that you are 100% true to yourself–that’s all you need to hold your head up high and say, “I am Me, and that is enough.” However, Jordan also enjoys brewing beer, so I whipped up this little quirky number to put a smile on his face and mine. 🙂 Cheers, my friend!
A lovely woman by the name of Rita was sitting nearby as the night came to a close, and she queried if she could give my Pop Up Poetry a try. Consenting, she went on to tell me of her children, mainly her son Matthew. Like any good mother, she had seen both good days and bad with her children, and she and Matthew were currently experiencing some of the tougher times. It was touching to hear her relate this relationship to me, a complete stranger…but I heard and understood. My heart went out to both her and her son–goodness knows I’ve had my own ins and outs with my mother over the years, but it never meant I loved her any less. Rita asked if I could type a poem about Matthew, and I was honored to put their story to paper…This night couldn’t have been more perfect. While I only had a handful of requests, I received unexpected donations by passerby, and struck up priceless conversations with people in my community that I wouldn’t trade for the world. THIS is why I do what I do. Eddie, I get it now. There’s nothing quite like it. I get how it takes a certain personality to survive this lifestyle–it is difficult and terrifying and demands you give your all and then give some more. I know that I was given a gift, and I’ve always wondered how it would manifest itself…while I still plan on writing fiction/creative nonfiction/reviews/short stories, etc, I feel called to Poetry for this season of life…and who am I to refuse my calling? It is undeniable and I have never felt so alive. Thank you, again, to everyone who has made this journey a stunning one, and who has made this dream possible. Thank you. I look forward to seeing you on the streets. 😉
(Below…some pictures of my set-up with the lovely Bianca, my 1950s Smith Corona Silent Super. Such a sultry thing, she performed well for me last night. Thanks, doll.) 🙂