It's an ordinary Monday morning here in Boston and I am sitting in my room sifting through the overnight onslaught of emails and Facebook postings which now decorate my life. This is communication? Last week I had the privilege of attending the National Poetry Slam in Cambridge. I felt alive and wonderful as I sat listening to poet after poet share his, her, or their (team) efforts. I was out nearly every day sometimes reading at the side events, judging one slam and sitting with friends over coffee or pizza discussing how wonderful it is to be in a world of poets if only for just a minute.
And that is exactly what it was. Just a minute. A momentary wrinkle in time when all the world seemed filled with poetry and even the bad poetry - Chimps and Bononos - were worthy of our discussions. In person! As I strolled up Mass Ave in Cambridge and smiled at the bodies moving along the sidewalk, lanyards hung around each neck decreeing "I am a fellow poet and lover of all things poetry" I couldn't help but feel like the world had changed in an instant. That I had somehow been transported into a place where I was a part of the "in" crowd. That all of those years of writing and twisting words into their inevitability had somehow accessed me to the vortex of my parallel life and finally, finally I was living it. Ah. The bliss! I AM the holder of the golden ticket!
Then on Saturday and Sunday it happened. My fellow nerds went home to the places where they hold nerdiness in high regard among their fellow nerds - all five of them. We are that few. We are small in number. We write in quiet corners hugging laptops to our bosom along with artfully decorated marble notebooks and colorful purple pens. We smuggle words to each other; laugh brashly at jokes only we understand; whisper sonnets when a simple word would do. We are the poets holding court for another year. Praying we won't be discovered and stepping to the mic in cities around the world hoping to be heard. We are poets writing illegible passions onto paper and stashing them in the folds of Facebook longing for another poet nerd to respond in kind. We are poets. Setting the world ablaze with our words, and telling it off.
We are the poets and we are not alone.
Robin G. White is an award-winning poet, author and publisher. You can read more about her at www.robingwhite.com.