I've been doing impromptu typewriter poetry for about four years now. What I like about it is that you can connect with strangers with whom you might never have spoken, in deeply resonant ways through the medium of poetry. Strangers are my muses, providing a word or a phrase that I use as inspiration to create an original poem on a vintage typewriter in 10 minutes or less.
There's a certain "yes-and" vibe that comes with this type of work... a certain trust in which one person's creative spark ignites a whole wildfire of creation. Sometimes, once the poem is written, I learn I've unwittingly intuited something that's intensely personal to the unsuspecting person who became incidental muse.
Such an occasion happened when Therapist Glenn Sevier happened upon me working with a poetry group in the Chicago Artisan Market. Sevier requested a poem about the phrase, Walk-N-Talk Therapy, explaining he had spearheaded the innovative therapy method in Chicago more than two decades ago.
I didn't interact with Glenn before writing the poem, which is pictured above, apart from seeing his topic written on the poem request list. After Glenn read the poem, he said it perfectly encapsulated Walk-N-Talk Therapy, in which he and clients walk side by side, talking through their traumas, life questions, dreams and existential dilemmas.
That spark of shared humanity bloomed a working relationship between Glenn and me. In this time, Glenn has shared several stories about the walks he takes with clients and how mindfully traversing Chicago's varied landscape and seasons can put clients in touch with their own feelings...in the moment.
On occasion, Glenn will snap photos on walks with his clients. In the coming months, I'll use these photos as inspiration for poetry. I hope that through Glenn's work and this collaboration, we can find poetry in the moments that spark us as we gain momentum, moving forward together in this life.