At the Architecture and Design Film Festival the other week, the festival Director, Kyle Bergman, introduced me to one of the filmmakers as a poet. In fact, Kyle used some sort of complimentary word right before "poet," but of course I've forgotten it as I only remember the bad things that people say about me. Or that I imagine they say about me. I was touched by the introduction. I've been writing poetry, on and off, since I was a teenager, yet I haven't thought of myself as a poet in a long time. Being introduced that way reminded me of earlier days in New York City when Regie Cabico was curating a reading series, Poets on the Ledge, at a little cafe called Papi Louis. Regie gave me my first poetry reading gig. That was a time in my life when I went to readings regularly, and met a lot of other poets. And the best part about it was that when we saw each other, we talked about how our writing was going, but rarely mentioned our day jobs.
In the process of sorting through the papers in my apartment, I've found poetry and more poetry; more than enough for a book. I've thought about putting a book together before, but I'm serious about it now. A title that I previously considered was "In the Familiar Refuge of Silence," but recently I started thinking about "Armadillo." Feel free to weigh in.
In my decluttering I've also come across encouraging e-mails from other writers that I saved. I suspect that at the time I received them, they were the equivalent of a life raft, something to grab at and hang on to. Unearthing them now feels like finding a message in a bottle; a message from the Universe.
So thank you, Kyle. In reminding me of my past, you have given me a gift for my future. And Universe, keep those messages coming. I'm listening.