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worn words

At our Goddard College undergraduate residencies we usually have an evening Reading Event where students, staff, and faculty can share a short piece or excerpt of a longer piece that they’ve written. This past residency I didn’t go with anything to read, so I thought I’d try to create a piece on the fly (so to speak). Throughout the residency I walked around with my phone, gathering words that I saw worn (on clothing, shoes, tattoos, etc.) and then on the day of the reading I used some of those words to write the following piece.

(August 2017)

worn words

Goddard Goddard Goddard

more than once in a lifetime, earthwalk gently

picking up the pieces

become an obliviator

for lovers, autoworkers, Rosh Eidah, drug users, droids, strangers

shape wider circles

own your superpower, brewing bent water

guns & gluttony

strand life


foot drop

on the other side of fear



18 miles of books

FUBU Farms

to choose freedom, trees

peace, by growing peace

risk magical disturbances, con dignidad

practice for poetics

and thoughts become Caliente

yes, I’m a water tender

recruiting now, every half moon

a dream

going fast

coming soon

* * *

In a way, this poem is a kind of text walking piece, even though I did not take any photographs of the bits of worn text.

The process of writing this poem has certainly led me back to thinking about other possibilities within the realm of text walking. There’s been an idea for a video project that’s been brewing in me for quite awhile, that this on-the-fly poem has re-sparked. I just haven’t figured out, yet, how to work through some of the issues, so I haven’t been able to move the idea forward. Hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to figure it out.

(November 2018)

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