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