I have written and heard of joy, pain, anxiety, death, graduation, new horizons, love, loss, possibility, pink elephants, the circus, and a multitude of adventures in every night and poem. The streets alive, breathing, ready and waiting for something. What that is, I don’t quite know.
So I head back out into the streets that engulf me. You will find me waiting for you at the corner of desire and The American Dream.
The tiny poems get typed and handed out like Halloween candy to eager faces looking like children on Christmas morning as they read the impromptu typewritten lines. I could charge more than I do, but I allow the audience to choose the word, the phrase, or the theme. I get them involved with the process of making poetry, therefore, the poem belongs to them as much as it does to me.
I do get a hint of joy when I see people respond positively to what I write, when they joyfully show it off, when they post a picture online, or when I run into them later on and see my poetry framed on the wall or frozen in place by a refrigerator magnet. The poetry, and writing, is an addiction. The street poetry becomes a quick fix, and a muse under street lights filled with banned cigarette smoke.
It now becomes a test of which will give out first. My body or mind. The pure mental exhaustion after hours on end of typing Poetry On Demand may burn out my brain. Or, it might be my body, worn thin and burned at both ends. The days filled with sunshine and hikes while the night is filled with booze and laughter till the process begins again. The hangovers dwindle though as the body adapts to the lack of sleep and alcohol.
I am unable to even stop and have more than brief encounters with women. The passion and relationship just another grind I do not seem able to keep up with. I find my relationships in the crowds pleased with subtle short interludes between work, school, kids, and prosperity. They are happy with the sweet cool evening in the mountains. They are happy to receive some poetry and to smile and drink. They find pleasure in friends, a heaven, an oasis.
Most nights I head out with my 1964 Smith-Corona typewriter named Cassandra or one of my many other vintage word machines to learn something about my generation and generations soon to depart from us. I find a story and poem in their eyes with every encounter, every stranger. I find originality when they approach me and their poetic sub-conscience begs to come out to play by giving me a word, a phrase, or a theme.
I give my audience what they need. In the past people have asked me what I write. I have always been confused by this. Not anymore. Now I respond confidently with, “Whatever the situation demands”
I am Eddie Cabbage,
and this is
Poetry on Demand