The Saga of Put-Pocket Poetry
There are many tales to be told of the founding clowning of Faithful Fools. Indeed, there is the day that Carmen Barsody first met Oscard, Kay Jorgensen’s clown. It was down on UN Plaza, just a few steps away from the Tenderloin, and the idea was just a regular ol’ photo shoot for something or other. Carmen arrived at the appointed hour, but she did not see Kay on the street. She looked and looked and only saw an interesting character leaning against a stone commemorating the founding of the UN in 1945.
A nod and a wink and Oscard, the clown, appeared. It was a moment of play and moment of fun as the two of them, Carmen and Oscard, discovered a connection. The clowning around, tilting this way and that, pulled about with an invisible rope, showed the world that these two were naturals at working together, playing together, and making something appear out of thin air.
But what many people don’t know is that Oscard taught Kay (and in turn many other Faithful Fools) about clowning as the art of turning things upside down and inside out. And what better to turn inside out than a pocket?
Of course, we all know the tradition of pick pockets. From Old London in the days of Oliver Twist to Turk & Hyde in Tenderloin days, pick pockets have been lifting everything from wallets to handkerchiefs, but Oscard wanted to teach Kay how to put things INTO people’s pockets.
Well, one thing led to another, first little slips of paper and then pens and pencils until the ultimate put-pocket feat: a banana in some unsuspecting soul’s back pocket. You are surprised, aren’t you!?!?!? How could someone be so distracted that the don’t notice a slip of paper slipping into their pocket?!?!?
Well, the answer, my friend, is poetry. Yes, poetry. Poetry slips into a pocket as gently and calmly as it slips into one’s heart and mind. Poetry comes to us in times of need, bringing courage, joy, insight, comfort, and even surprise. Poetry is the all-purpose combination of words and spaces and rhymes and syncopation that brings us closer to ourselves and our neighbors.
Every year when April rolls ‘round, we remember the joys of poetry. We take poetry wherever we can, although none of us is as adept at the art of Putting Poetry in the Pockets or Hearts of Fools as Oscard, the clown, or Kay, founding Fool, but we do try.
Psst, don’t look now, a poem is coming your way . . . You can download printable poetry or order one or both of the Fools' Poetry Anthologies.