If you follow along on instagram you’ll recall that I recently spent a few weeks in New Orleans on a project exploring what it means to pursue a passion. On the first day on the job day I was assigned to interview Cubs the Poet. Yes! What a treat this would be. 3 years prior I’d snapped a photo of him doing his thing in the French Quarter - that photo ended up hanging in my kitchen, a daily reminder to consider the passions we each have, and to get out there and share them with the world. Cubs' art form is what he describes as “Spontaneous Poetry” - I’d call it downloading his gift and giving his beautiful vibe to each person he connects with in the world.
I’m lucky, now to call Cubs a friend, and to have had a poem written for me that day about the pursuit of happiness! Read on for my interview with Cubs the Poet.
AE: Let’s start with talking a bit about what you do and how you got started doing it:
Cubs: What I do is called Spontaneous Poetry - I write poetry on the spot for people. I use a vintage typewriter and a few questions to spark the conversation.
Typically the poem is written for them [the person he meets on the street], they give me a theme, I interview them on that theme and then type a poem on the spot and read it to them after I write it.
I’m originally from Baton Rouge, LA - my parents moved to Maryland and when I would leave college and go home for the summer I would ask myself: what do you want to do when you’re done? One day I asked myself, without any intention - what do you want to do - and poetry came to mind.
I wrote a poem, it was called Do You Like Poetry? - I would recite it to everybody on the street. Anybody that walked by I’d ask “Do You Like Poetry?” - they'd answer yes or no and I’d recite the poem. I did that all Summer.
Cubs' break came that Summer when he was invited into a shop to share poetry with the shop clientele. The shop owner had a typewriter… Cubs borrowed it, from there he went out into the street and started creating poems for people as they passed by.
His next move: Royal Street in New Orleans.
AE: When you’re out here each day what do you find to be the best part of your day?:
Cubs: Well first, I chose Royal Street because it’s full of art, architecture, galleries, and historic landmarks. As I’m walking down the street as soon as I set up, I’m behind my typewriter, and I look out and I tell myself everyday I chose to be here.
Walking down Royal Street, galleries are open, artists are present... I like to stop in and say hi to the artists, asking a question of the day - there’s a sense of community as I walk down the street. I’m asking people questions that provide content for the poems I'll write that day. I like to involve the community.
AE: What makes it all worth it for you?
Cubs: The level of connection with other people. When people realize no one is telling me to sit out here, no one taught me how to do what I’m doing… it’s an entirely different way of connecting and communicating.
When people see me writing poetry in the middle of the street, they see that I love to do it and can hear the tone in my voice -- it’s creating a more whole connection.
AE: If someone was considering pursuing a dream and wanted your advice about taking a leap to do their own thing, what would you tell them?
Cubs: First, it’s great that they’d be considering [pursuing a dream] - that they’d have that thought. I'd say “trust yourself before you can explain yourself.” As soon as you start to question yourself you start to take yourself away from the dream, so trust yourself!
AE: How do you measure success?
Cubs: If I’m not questioning anything before I fall asleep at night - that’s a successful day.
Here's my poem written that afternoon, it sits on my desk, another beautiful reminder that pursuing a passion is a true path to happiness.
happy. feet, following freedom.
a smile-similar to the horizon. a sun, blushes.
hands holding hearts.
love, laugh sounds alittle like
the birth of bubbles, bursting with being -
You'll Also Like