Don’t Fear the Poem . . . or the Museum

rompdoorI’m working at the ROMP Rummage Store today, and as always, I’m trying to get customers to go to the museum–it’s only 2 miles outside of town. It’s easy to find. The door is open, the lights are on, air conditioner going. A lot of people have no interest in poetry. One woman today said, “I’m scared.”

I said, “There’s no one there. The door’s open–just go in and look around at your own pace.”

I didn’t convince her.

But seriously, don’t fear the poem. Don’t fear the poetry museum.

This museum is for and of the people. You can touch stuff in there. Write on walls. Listen to a jukebox. Sit in an easy chair and read some old autograph books from 1930. ALL of the poetry in it is written by regular people like you. Don’t fear it . . . please.

It’s only called a “museum” because I wanted the acronym ROMP when I started this place 4 years ago.

If you came out to the first museum, this one is quite a bit different. It’s in a different building, across the pasture from the old one. The exhibits and your interaction are different. Come see.

There’s no one there who’s going to tell you how to read the poems or write a poem or what to look at or think or feel. It’s a trusting place. Go in and see.

Don’t fear the poem.

–Shaun Perkins


Events, Musings

Biking Toward Poetry

leftthumbI used to ride my bicycle all over the place when I was a kid. We grew up on bicycles. When we lived down on Snake Creek, we routinely rode any bike that we could get working down to the Dip (creek named for the yellow warning sign in front of it). I’ll never forget the Christmas the four of us kids were led outside by our parents to see a row of shiny new bikes waiting for us: bright green things with tassels on the handgrips, bone-white banana seats, and plastic wicker-like baskets with blue and pink flowers on them. Continue reading “Biking Toward Poetry”


Night of Poetry & Stories

The Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry hosted a Tellabration on Nov. 10, 2012, at the museum. Thanks to everyone who turned out. We explored poetry, ate some smores, and told stories around the campfire. Some pictures from the evening can be seen in the following slideshow:

ROMP Tellabration

Continue reading “Night of Poetry & Stories”


Poetry Machines

I had an actual dream about opening a museum that was full of poetry machines. In the dream, the museum was in my grandparents’ old home, which we had turned into a used bookstore and then when it closed, my nephew and his friend moved into it while they are going to college. But the house was also an amalgamation of a psychiatric museum I had visited in St. Joseph, Missouri.     Continue reading “Poetry Machines”

Events, Musings

Honey Poetry on Blocks

It’s not often a person gets to spend the day sharing poetry with people. So, yesterday, September 1, 2012, was a great day for me. It was the Perkins Honey Mead Poetry Day, a fundraiser for the museum to help me get it complete and officially open. For a $10 donation, visitors got some mead (which I made last year from the honey harvest) and a honey bear from this year’s harvest. . . .plus, the first experience of the 1/3rd complete museum.

Perkins Honey Mead Poetry Day Slideshow Continue reading “Honey Poetry on Blocks”