Field Museum 7.9.19

The Field Museum invited Poems While You Wait to write poems for their donor night. We had the privilege of sitting underneath the taxidermy elephants with our typewriters.

Look up and see the windows change color between the tusks

Look up and see the windows change color between the tusks

In the 12 years that I have been writing public typewriter poetry I’ve had a whole range of experiences and emotions regarding my creative output in these settings. Some days I feel like each poem is trash: I can’t connect to the emotion of the request or I can’t appreciate the exercise because the topic feels uninspired. Some days I feel like I’m getting my lines in for the day.

This day at the Field Museum I felt as if I was emptying myself into a glass, taking form. I don’t think they’re all stellar, but I’m really satisfied with those I included below.

I wrote 10 poems. Eric and I did a NBA fantasy draft (modern era) starting five. I surprisingly found myself picking Karl Malone on my team of 5. Picking Karl Malone for your all time top 5 is like picking cereal for breakfast when you have a whole buffet in front of you.

Sometimes people get poems about Florida without them really knowing that’s what they’re getting. I had heard of some algal blooms in the Midwest that more likely inspired this topic, but given that Florida has such a long history of this funny business I thought it best to go here. Rick Scott is an idiot.

Sometimes people get poems about Florida without them really knowing that’s what they’re getting. I had heard of some algal blooms in the Midwest that more likely inspired this topic, but given that Florida has such a long history of this funny business I thought it best to go here. Rick Scott is an idiot.

Inspired by the ongoing archaeological wars happening in China. I can always feel a connection to writing about bones.

Inspired by the ongoing archaeological wars happening in China. I can always feel a connection to writing about bones.

This requester saw me wearing a White Sox hat and they specifically requested that I write a poem of praise about the Cubs. So I went in.

This requester saw me wearing a White Sox hat and they specifically requested that I write a poem of praise about the Cubs. So I went in.

Everybody in Poems While You Wait has topics that they’re ideal for. I typically get a lot of the sports poems, for instance. I also receive a lot of poem topics around general nerd culture: comics, videogames, and in this case, anime. This was for a young woman, and I’m mostly archiving it here because I don’t want to forget how happy she was when she read it.

Everybody in Poems While You Wait has topics that they’re ideal for. I typically get a lot of the sports poems, for instance. I also receive a lot of poem topics around general nerd culture: comics, videogames, and in this case, anime. This was for a young woman, and I’m mostly archiving it here because I don’t want to forget how happy she was when she read it.

I always like to try at least one prose poem per PWYW session. This is based on a true story, and if I had more time and real estate on the page to work with, I could explore this idea a lot more, maybe channel some Transtromer.

I always like to try at least one prose poem per PWYW session. This is based on a true story, and if I had more time and real estate on the page to work with, I could explore this idea a lot more, maybe channel some Transtromer.

Channeling my Merwin vibes. This might be the most realized poem I wrote of the day, but not the most interesting. If something is realized but not interesting, is it even done?

Channeling my Merwin vibes. This might be the most realized poem I wrote of the day, but not the most interesting. If something is realized but not interesting, is it even done?

Green terrace to my left while writing.

Green terrace to my left while writing.

Maximo the Titanosaur at my 2 o’clock

Maximo the Titanosaur at my 2 o’clock

Randolph Street Market 5.26.18

One of my favorite topics to receive: Dealer's Choice.  It was a particularly beautiful spring morning, and I was reading Louise Gluck's The Wild Iris. Holy. Shit. Those. Poems. Always been a Matins man m'self.

One of my favorite topics to receive: Dealer's Choice.  It was a particularly beautiful spring morning, and I was reading Louise Gluck's The Wild Iris. Holy. Shit. Those. Poems. Always been a Matins man m'self.

Another great title because it gave me an immediate rhetorical posture and form for the poem. This poem has since been revised to be itself a bit more. Turns out the title was best for the first draft but not for moving forward as it was somewhat limiting.

Another great title because it gave me an immediate rhetorical posture and form for the poem. This poem has since been revised to be itself a bit more. Turns out the title was best for the first draft but not for moving forward as it was somewhat limiting.

My first poem is usually always my most uninhibited - this was the first poem of the day. I kinda ran out of space at the end, and was generally struggling with my machine all session.

My first poem is usually always my most uninhibited - this was the first poem of the day. I kinda ran out of space at the end, and was generally struggling with my machine all session.

Poems While You Wait was at the Randolph Street Market, writing poems and ringing in the official start of the outside market.  Antiques, gumbo, furniture, furs, marmalades and reclaimed wood.  The typewriters fit in. 

I wore an aloha shirt and went to a barbecue later.

Harold Washington Library 4-29-18

Poems While You Wait helped celebrate The Harold Washington Library's Poetry Fest.  There were 8 poets writing both upstairs and downstairs.  The poems were free, to celebrate National Poetry Month.

I almost collapsed of hunger halfway through the performance but found some beef jerky across the street.

That morning I listened to the new Twin Shadow album "Caer" and I think it rang into some of the work.

Something that sticks out was the woman ordering the poem "homeless and hungry" and never returning to claim it.  

Eat your beef jerky when you have it.

Been reading Bryan Doerrie's "All That You've Seen Here is God" ~ his translation of Ajax is good

Been reading Bryan Doerrie's "All That You've Seen Here is God" ~ his translation of Ajax is good

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Religious topics are rare for pwyw ~ I wonder why ~ perhaps its too private for poetry even?

Religious topics are rare for pwyw ~ I wonder why ~ perhaps its too private for poetry even?

This poem feels good - I wrote it second - some version of this will end up in the next book

This poem feels good - I wrote it second - some version of this will end up in the next book

A little girl asked for a haiku

A little girl asked for a haiku

Dave Landsberger Homecoming

Hi, I'm Dave Landsberger and I founded Poems While You Wait with Kathleen Rooney and Eric Plattner in 2011.  

You might not know that though, considering I've been absent from PWYW since March of 2017.  

October marked my triumphant return to PWYW.

Reading at The Singleman Affair, Cafe Mustache, Chicago, IL

Reading at The Singleman Affair, Cafe Mustache, Chicago, IL

I read a few new poems in front of a Friday Night crowd at Cafe Mustache in Logan Square for a series entitled "The Singleman Affair".  I will rank the new poems in order of how well they went over.

  1. Winter the Horror Poem
  2. Beaver
  3. Daylight Savings

On September 28, 2017, Poems While You Wait visited Randolph Street Market.  I wrote one poem that I like, titled "WAVES OF FALL".  I have since retitled it after the first line, "I WOULD BE RELUCTANT AS LEAVES"

On November 17, 2017 Poems While you Wait attended The Adler Planetarium's "Adler After Dark" series.  The theme this time around was "Adler After Dark Ages" so there were tunics all up in the place.  

I don't think I wrote anything that amazing this night, but here's some pics including an obligatory shot of Chicago from Northerly Island.  Lit purple for Veteran's Day, I really enjoy this color on the city.  I also enjoy how you can see the border of the light polution on the clouds to the right.

Here's to being more public. See you out there.