Poetry in the Gallery, art from the ordinary

Tonight, after a mad dash to find the right shoes (along with the matching left), Margo and I made an even madder dash to arrive an hour late to https://www.mfa.org/programs/series/poetry-in-the-galleries.  There, the brilliant poet Kathleen Aguero was leading a event of poetry writing/reading among art pulled from the ordinary, sort of soft still life sculptures.

We explored different approaches to writing poems in reflection of the art.  One poem that speaks to all the objects in a still life, one poem that treats the ordinary as extraordinary, a haiku, and a cinquain.

As I was late, I missed the first exercise, but was there in time to write an ode to the ordinary.

This hat is the replacement hat
bought because a loved hat
went on its own adventure
and came back too small
or is it my head became swollen
without that hat
but
this hat
the replacement hat
is superior to my lost, adventurous hat
not only is it a shield against the sun
but
this oil cloth hat
keeps the rain off my brows
small copper stitches line the brim
broad like a soldier’s shoulders
it is crumpled
like me
from our shared adventures
pinched in the front to cut the wind
and scooped in the to push back the rain
this marvelous replacement hat
with its brown leather stitched band
screams to the world
its boldness
in staying with me
its resilience to the buffets and the scorn
its power over the rain
its command over the sun
my brilliant hat
the replacement hat
that has stayed with me

The next exercise was to write a haiku and a cinquain about the exhibit or an object therein. My cinquain has too many syllables.

shelves with found objects
everyday trash magnified
revealing beauty

a room
shelved discards
so tastefully arranged
highlighting color and form
untrashed

Finally, as they told us they wanted photographs of all of our poetry, I wrote this:

They want photos of our poems
pulled from the examples and images on the walls
unthinking that some pictures
of words written of pictures
will contain bad scrawl
from fingers crushed by pain
that the words are indecipherable
in the pictures

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