©2023 michael raven

guerrilla poetry at
broadway safeway
thursday nights
fliers you
cannot refuse
handed out to
everyone everyone
while a raven
preaches to
the flock

shopping for
something tasty
on the side
Photo by Dmitry Daltonik on Pexels.com

Note: In 1995, I was living in Seattle and somehow got put in charge of a spoken word night at a downtown café. One of our tactics for getting people to come was to do theatrical, “guerilla” poetry at local stores where we thought we might have a future audience. In and out in less than a minute (or we’d be thrown out by the management, or police), handing out 8th-of-a-cardstock-page cards listing times and dates of the next “salon” while one or more of us shouted out poetry. Safeway on Broadway (it might have been a different store name, time does funny things to the memory) was one of those locations least likely to call the cops on us, so they bore the brunt of our antics. I did some window shopping, but I never tried to pick anyone up at those events. This picture reminded me of a more fantastic imaginings of possible outcomes that never came to be.

15 thoughts on “1995

  1. Ha, I remember Safeway (yes, they were over here too). Great idea, and much better than the preachers we have on street corners these days.
    Reminder: must pop into Aldi tomorrow (with a few words)!


    1. I was a bit of a manic wild child at the time. Wore a kilt or velvet skirts with ruffle shirts out and about, which was considered highly outre at the time. Got on the local television news for joking about being “Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod…” and then handed him one of those cards when they asked why I was wear a kilt outside of a Courtney Love concert (“is it out of respect for Kurt?”). I hadn’t even known a show was happening and was just walking by the venue (I lived three blocks away or so at the time), but the reporter assumed I was there for the show. My grandmother told me she lost it when saw me on the nighttime news doing that routine, spit her evening coffee across the room laughing.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. You remind me so much of my buddy Jason in college. He wore a long black trench coat and thick black makeup. He loved to surprise people too and I was always along for his “experiments in chaos.” Miss that feeling and him.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Sounds like my kind of guy. I need to reclaim some of that energy, but not sure how to do it. The kiddos generally seem to appreciate it when I can find the energy to be silly with them, but the energy is often lacking these days.

              Liked by 1 person

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