The academic world of poetry has never interested me as much as the mundane world of poetry. Some people might balk at putting “poetry” and “mundane” in the same sentence, but let’s look at the origin of a word that in the popular imagination means a bunch of negative things: common, ordinary, banal, unimaginative.
Okay, now what’s horrible about that definition? “Mundane” has a rich origin. It defines things of the world, things clean and elegant, the physical universe that supports us, the cosmos.
I am a poet of the mundane, of the world. I find poetry in the world, in all places, in all people. I have all the typical criteria of an academic poet–the degrees, the published poetry, the college teaching experience–but what interests me is the poetry that the ordinary person has, so it’s no wonder I am a traveling roadshow poet rather than one who focuses on traditional teaching and publishing.
Bringing in people to the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry, interacting at festivals, typing poems in a minute, littering random streets and buildings with poetry cards: I guess, this is my calling. So be it. I guess I’ll stay broke. So be it. I guess I’ll continue to buy my clothes at yard sales. So be it. I guess I’ll give in to where all indications have been pointing me to go . . . for all of my life.
So be it.
The following photos are from April 4, when I wrote Poems-In-A-Minute for people at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa.