Don't Be Superficial, Cause We'll Soon Find Out
Last summer I was invited by the Brave Festival of Risk and Failure at Harbourfront Centre to write poems for people on the spot. About 40 folks came and I asked what they needed a poem for and then I wrote it. Then they took it and walked away.
At the start of my shift on the second day, a man was waiting there, eager. No excited. So into it, it made me nervous. Just so you know, i think i'm an open person. But his level of open scared me a little. Reminded me of when I went to an improvised dance thing called "The Move" at the Dovercourt House in Toronto and said to my friend "I'm not comfortable being this comfortable."
So the man, who's name is David. sat down and said "I'm ready. My soul is right here." He held out his hands. I said "I see!" still kind of edging backward in my skin. But i realized he was waiting for me to touch him, to meet him. So I touched his fingers with the tips of my fingers and I swear something cleared. His eyes were very blue. I got calmer. I asked what he needed a poem for and his sentences, which were a still bit fragmented, suddenly made sense. I did not write a "poem" as I sometimes do. I just wrote down as fast as i could some of the things he said. Then i read it to him and asked him "what we should call it?" He said "Don't Be Superficial, Cause We'll Soon Find Out." We had a blast together. Or I should say he was already having a blast and I let myself join him.
So then the story gets better. Seems he went on his way and met someone nearby and said to him. "I have this poem here can you help me read it?" And who he happened to find was Happie Micha Edwards who in that very moment, as open as David George Thomas Shipley was, made this video. This video in that moment on that day. Really.