Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | By: Brianna

My Life as a Poet

So this morning I saw on my blog feed list thing that Poets United has a feature called "Life of a Poet."  Though this is an interview type feature, I decided that I should do something similar for my blog and talk about what I'd like my life to look like if I was just a poet.  Here goes some fictional imagining.

If I was a poet and nothing else, I would live in a city.  Probably Chicago because I don't think I could get myself to move to New York, just because it's a matter of principle that I should display disdain toward the "big apple."  I would live in a tiny apartment with one bedroom and a drippy ceiling in the kitchen.  My living room window would look out at a tree-lined one-way street.  I would have to sleep on a double bed because anything bigger wouldn't fit in my bedroom comfortably, and I would have an east facing window so the sun will slant over my face and wake me up when the heat gets uncomfortable over my eyelids.

In the morning I'll wake up and pull on whatever t-shirt and pants are within arm's reach.  I'll pull my hair up and off my face by twisting it up with a pen.  I'll wear my glasses, of course, and pull my beat up messenger bag that's already packed and walk out the door, taking to the sidewalk.  The walk will always be nice, even if it's raining because the people I'll pass will be friendly enough to smile and sometimes stop to chat, but not that weird middle ground where you just mumble "hi" and keep walking.  They'll all understand that when they ask "how are you?" I will answer honestly and sometimes at length.  And that I'll really care when I ask the same question back.

I'll go to my favorite little coffee shop where I'll eat a blueberry muffin and drink a mug of hot chocolate every morning, but sometimes I'll shake things up and drink chai or order a cinnomon roll or maybe a freshly baked croissant.  I'll sit at the same table every morning and all of the employees of the coffee shop will know who I am, even the owner will come over to say hello.  I'd have the same tattered notebook every morning, maybe it'll be leather bound or maybe it'll be a composition notebook that's frayed around the edges of the cardboard cover.  I would write with a Bic crystal pen because fancy pens would just get smashed in my bag.  Visitors to the coffee shop would muse about what I was writing, and they would even make up stories about what they thought I was writing, some of the regulars will know my name, but will be too bashful to talk to me.

After breakfast, I would probably wander the streets looking around and window shopping.  I'll take a different route every morning.  Maybe I'll even ride the El all day one day.  I'll spend time in the museums, taking notes on things that I learn, and visiting some exhibits so often that I memorize what the little placards say.  I'll sit on a corner of State street and watch the shoppers, taking special note of who frequents which stores and following around the most interesting people.  I'll go to a tourist spot and observe non-Chicago-natives.  On nice days I'll even visit the beach and draw sketches of pigeons and waves and maybe some stick figure sun bathers.

I'll eat a proper lunch at a small sandwich shop or a diner that I pass on my wanderings.  It'll be a surprise every day, and I'll try whatever the man at the counter suggests even if it features sauer kraut because lunch should be spontaneous.  I'll sit in a park and eat whatever I bought and skip rocks in fountains.

In the afternoon I'll run errands.  Pick up dry cleaning if I have it, buy another gallon of milk because I finished off the last of it at midnight the night before, replenish my stock of honey sesame sticks because I always manage to run out at the least convenient times, and maybe meet up with a friend for coffee.  By this time I'll probably drink coffee because I'll be all grown up.  I'll listen to speakers and go to free events mostly because I won't have any money to spare, but also because I'll want to keep learning forever.

In the evening I'll read with a glass of wine under the glow of a single reading lamp.  The rest of the room will be hidden in shadow.  I'll eat dinner on my own and maybe dance a little while I'm making it.  And after watching a movie or a random television show on my TV that has a dysfunctional color tube or whatever, I'll settle into bed to cuddle and fall asleep.

"A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman."
- Wallace Stevens


Post a Comment