A Poet at Oly Farmer’s Market

Our year-round Farmer’s Market has the gorgeous seasonal fruits, veggies, flowers, fish, meat, baked goods, artwork, and cool things like worm tea and fermented foods. Also live entertainment and world cuisines.

But last Saturday there was a new addition, a dapper fellow sitting at a manual typewriter set on a tiny table with a pile of small sheets of blank paper, offering custom poems! “Your Story, Your Price”

Who could resist? My first thought of course was to sketch him, but since I would be sitting close by and looking at him a lot, I first introduced myself and ordered a poem. My story. . .ummm. Something about a poet and a tree, I suggested?

fine liner pen and watercolor with Elliot’s poem in Etchr sketchbook

I sat at a picnic table with my back to the band that was playing. Children were running around, my picnic table received other visitors and their food and conversations and jostling. Most people walked right by. Some stood blocking my view for a while, speaking to the poet named Elliot, ordering poems, I presume. And I realized both Elliot and I were in the same boat, needing to concentrate fully on our creative task in the midst of numerous interruptions.

Over the years I’ve trained myself to do this, but how does one start a poem, get interrupted to take a new poem order, and immediately return to the middle of the one you were working on? I was impressed.

When I returned at the end of 45 min or longer to show him my sketch, he had a small pile of poems completed and waiting to be picked up. He dug mine out and read it to me. I was pleased! I particularly like the ending. . .”reminders, so, in the woodpulp that stays“. When I asked him how he does it, he replied, “there’s always poetry” and smiled.

 Elliot seemed pleased with his portrait too! And his poem fit just perfectly on the opposite page!

It had been a great meet up for our combined Tacoma and Olympia Urban Sketchers! Some sketched the building, others the flowers and people. All seemed to enjoy this time out of busy lives, sketching in public.

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