Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two Worlds

I did a little experiment the other day in Love Park.  I took a dollar bill, folded it so it wouldn’t be too conspicuous, and placed it in a flower bed. Tourists come here from all over the world to take photos of LOVE (Robert Indiana’s literal sculpture), and there were never fewer than 5 or 6 at a time in the half hour or so I stood by and watched, as well as the hundreds who pass by, who come from nearby office buildings to eat lunch in the sunshine. None saw the dollar bill…hidden in plain sight… until a homeless man happened by. While other were busy taking photos, talking on their cell phones or soaking up rays, this man’s eyes carefully scoured the paving blocks, under the benches, the trash receptacles. One glance at the flower bed and he had that dollar bill.

They don’t see me, either.. .with my Poem Tree poster, or notice me reading aloud with my Spirit Stick, my Derby & feathers and aluminum tabs.  As though I’ve slipped out of their world.. into one perhaps closer to that homeless man.

Two worlds, I thought. Same place. Two worlds.

This, I think, is the source of the freedom I spoke of in my previous post. I think this is an obligation for any poet--a necessity, to never be comfortable in any one world, but always slipping through the cracks, seeing the artifice, the paper moon for what it...

Some have it beaten into them, that we have no home in the world...none of us. Some of us have to work at it...

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