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Night Poets

The time we covered the town in verse

By E.A. WilcoxPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Teresa Griego Photography IG: teresa_griego


“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” - Robert Frost

It’s one of those things, you know? People either don’t get it at all and they hate it or they have one image in their head. That image is of self-righteous college students who take themselves way too seriously, they wear berets, bang a few bongos, and snap at each other’s nonsensical inspirations.

The other camp of people and poetry are the ones who love it. They can’t get enough of it - classical all the way to urban slam poetry. They gobble it up and fill their weekends with carefully crafted stanza. Close their eyes and repeat again and again that last line that left their minds wandering to distant places.

I love poetry and I always have - writing it and reading it. My earlier favorites included the likes of Shell Silverstein and Edgar Allan Poe. Then, as I got older music became a huge part of me so lyrics (yes I see as a form of poetry) also joined in. Come to high school and I discovered slam poetry and spoken word. I joined a club and in college even got to teach young people the craft of both performance and writing poetry.

Of course, this meant that I had weird nerdy poet friends as well. One friend, in particular, had a brilliant idea of us going to a Wal-Mart at 2 in the morning, getting ice cream and sidewalk chalk. The ice cream for us to consume. The sidewalk chalk? For us to chalk the town with verses from our favorite poems, songs, and other quotes of inspiration.

We found small public areas that stilled in the night and just unfolded as our very own notebook or journal. We made art with words on sidewalks and benches and by the end of it, it had looked like my journal, but life-size and all over - it was glorious.

We didn’t actually go back in the daytime to see what it looked like in daylight but under the streetlights, it had a particular hush beauty to it that was meant for the night. I have no idea who saw it, if they stopped to read it, or what they thought, but honestly, I didn’t really think about that stuff at the time. I just enjoyed the adventure and of course getting to create artwork with another creative.

You’re probably wondering what songs, and poetry we wrote down, and the answer to that is; I honestly don’t remember. I can tell you however which bands and poets I used but for my personal poems, those are locked away in some boxes somewhere in all my dusty journals when my pen was a sixth finger (now it’s notes apps and everything is more digital).

I remember quoting song lyrics from some of my favorite bands like Thrice, Veritas (a side project from Thrice), Blindside, Copeland, Iron & Wine, and others. I also remember throwing around some Johnny Cash lyrics as well. As far as poets went -- I wrote some Pablo Naruda, Robert Frost, Levi The Poet, and of course some of my own.

Eventually, the rain came and washed all the chalk away and so we went back another time to do it again but after that, we never went back. I so wish I could show you pictures of our night poetry creations but this was before the non-stop social media posting craze. If I could I would do it again and this time I would take pictures to capture it all. For now and always it will be one of my favorite memories from University.

Photo by Teresa Griego Photography IG: @teresa_griego

*The photos used here are pictures of Santa Fe, New Mexico in the plaza area. We wrote our poetry in another part of town that looked similar to this.

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Teenage years

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E.A. Wilcox

Book dragon, word shifter, molder, maker.

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    E.A. WilcoxWritten by E.A. Wilcox

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