Seattle, Washington, United States
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

a big blue box...with a poet inside

Hey there, Coffee Lovers. I know I promised a two week hiatus, but I'm kind of a softy when it comes to putting restrictions on myself. Besides, I figured it wasn't breaking any rules if I posted on a day that wasn't Thursday, Sunday, or Monday. How revolutionary is that.

Honestly, I just can't stop blogging. And, if I don't blog on unity and don't quote the Buddha, I'm not repetitive. I just really like quotes by the Buddha...

But, no matter. I have a story for all of you this week. Yesterday, I did something quite extraordinary with my friend Nalani. We are both poets and had been invited by another fabulous friend of mine, Reisha, to participate in an event for the Issaquah September Art Walk. We were being asked to run the mystical, surreal, fabulous Poetry Machine.

The Poetry Machine is an event put on by an organization called Write to the Edge (http://www.writetotheedgeworkshopsandretreats.com) which works to bring the art of writing to my community. It's an organization I have a ridiculously large amount of respect for and have worked with on a few ocassions.

The Poetry Machine is, in its most basic, a big blue box...with a poet inside. Random strangers insert five words and a few minutes later, a handwritten poem using the five words inserted is spit out of the box. Like magic.

Nalani and I had an incredible evening. We wrote beautiful (and a few not-so-beautiful) poems, we met intersting people, and we got to spend some time in and around the art we love. One woman told me that the poem I wrote for her will be read at her wedding. Her name is Marina. She does not know my name.

I love this kind of thing. Poetry is the most undervalued, under-paid, and under-noticed art in modern America. And yet, last night the gang at the Poetry Machine had a chance to make men, women, and little children excited about an art that their country spends next to no time and really no money on supporting.

To end this, I will quote something I read in a City Arts magazine article by Greg Lundgren: "The sheer brainpower of artists and thinkers in the Pacific Northwest is staggering - and more valuable than the ocean of oil under Saudi Arabia. Ideas are the most powerful assets of any culture. They shape the future of politics, our technologies, our morals and ideals. Ideas hold the power to save us."

Yours, even from a coffee break.
-michael

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