I am three days into my Random Acts of Poetry Week, and I thought to give an update. Thankfully, Monday was my flex day, so I had the opportunity to knock off a bunch of Random Acts of Poetry. I headed downtown via bus in the morning. As my bus came along the road, I took in a deep breath. I knew I was going to make myself poem some unsuspecting passenger before the end of my ride. I sat beside a woman who looked groggy, but approachable. She set the ball rolling with her openness and enthusiasm. Thanks Courtenay! From there, I hit a couple of familiar coffee shops, and then I plunged into the unknown - the passers-by on Victoria's downtown streets. Needless to say, I got a few wary looks and a few curt 'no thanks!' but I wasn't going to be deterred. I wandered into friendly businesses and, if the staff weren't too terribly busy, I poemed them and they thanked me.
Later in the day, I made arrangements to have a reporter and cameraman from A-Channel News follow me around for awhile. They got a great story, and I got some more needed publicity. They portrayed me as the 'predator poet', but also commented on the people who ran away or tried to avoid me and how nonthreatening I was. After all, it was poetry! Then the question arose, is poetry scary for people? Possibly, if they already think they hate it or that they won't understand it. Luckily, I poemed a gentleman on camera who was thrilled to be poemed and an advocate of the arts. He even quoted Jack Kerouac! Later, he shared a very moving story with me about his baby girl who is living with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) disease. The gifts we are given... the stories we share...
So, all in all my first day was a relative success. Fifteen in total poemed.
On to Tuesday... I was at work, so I tried poeming my colleagues, and getting in a couple of fellow bus riders. Four in total poemed.
Today... again I was at work, so I poemed the executive administrative assistant who hugged me, and I also received a word-of-mouth request for poeming. Tonight I poemed my yoga class, which set the peaceful and reflective mood for our practice. Later, I poemed a cashier-in-training with a poem about being a cashier. The woman helping her exclaimed, "This is a Random Act of Poetry, isn't it?" It turned out she was the student of another local poeming poet, Susan Stenson. I am only halfway through this wonderful week... and I can't wait to poem again!