“42 steps.” SMS poetry from the school corridor

In October 2014 I joined a school project that was about emphasizing the importance of poetry. Different student groups undertook the opportunity to reinterpret traditional poems via videos or photos. Meanwhile, some wrote their own poems using social media communication tools like Facebook or Twitter.

My group, consisted of 10th grade students.  We went to the downtown area and started looking for appropriate scenes to illustrate our poems. We started our journey at the McDonalds….(where else?). It was a dark and rainy autumn day, a Saturday. I remember that nobody was really in the mood to do anything serious. I had to convince myself to go out too, nevertheless it turned to great time.  At the end of our time in the downtown area, we took photos of ourselves in front of the Freedom Monument and other well-known tourist sights.  That brought them to life when compared to the everyday experiences of the locals. They used these photos to vocalize their poems and even if there were better edited videos, I believe this was the most personal presentation.

I read a lot of student-made poems, so called micropoems or SMS poems on Twitter. For instance D. simply wrote or better to say admitted that „My boy is an ass.” It was more than honest. This made me interested in how to find symbols and places suitable for mediation without spinning around them too much. And it is true, micro poetry is an ideal genre for this. So in October, at the very end of my Riga time, I also used this forum to experiment, to say something or to close something. The school where I taught and my students were really inspiring.  I just wish I could be so honest like they are.

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Here are some micro poems I created from this project.  They were born on the school corridor:

Twenty something

Twenty something days
in the past
should not be mentioned on my business card

1973

I’d put your business card to a white envelope
next to my father’s portrait
after coming to realize you cannot have me

Rituals

I waited for you in my flat
and you came to me by your car
to disguise we cannot go anywhere

My price

I brought you red roses from Hungary
you gave me 300 claret colored thorns in turn
to teach I cannot get all I want

Conditionals

I would have written a longer letter
or would have raised the phone to my ear
if it was not a red letter day for all, but me

The hope

Maybe every thought is just a shadow
that reflects back to you
whispering I wanted you… to leave

Your eyes

I’d thought that is a need in your eyes
what was only a benefit on your lips
something got lost in your translation

Recovery

I don’t know how to tell you
but I buried you into a box
that lays in my cupboard

Belief on a highway

We met on a highway
that turned to be the wheels of an emotional
in-between… before the crossroad

down, loud, down

We were 42 steps from your flat
each loud step illuminated the cracks between us, so deep
I’ve memorized the new spots on the old walls

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