Friday, 20 September 2013

Rain Rain Go Away! #Day4 #PromenadePoetry #CWCT2013

It's supposedly Spring in Cape Town but the Mother City seems to have her own ideas... 
Due to the rain and hail, I was unfortunately unable to write any #PromenadePoetry yesterday and it's not looking too good today either. As frustrating as this is, that was the whole intention behind this experiment. I used chalk on the promenade so that it would be non-permanent and that the elements would naturally wash it away. Whomever happens to be there on the day that I write my poetry, gets to read it. Whomever happens to cross my path dictates what I write about. This was both terrifying and liberating. 

Meet Penny & Rocco - Day 4's poetry recipients.What stood out for me about this couple was their love for each other and their love for life. Penny and Rocco have been living in Cape Town for over 40 years. Rocco is originally from Italy and still has his strong, wonderful Italian accent -every word he uttered sounded like poetry. We spoke about politics, the universe, Carl Sagan, the point of poetry and one's life purpose in just under a few minutes but I would have happily continued speaking to them for hours. 

Thanks go to the press for featuring me over the past few days and for those of you that have been sharing my poetry around the world. Here's hoping the weather improves so I can finish what I started on the Promenade! 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside! #Day3 #PromenadePoetry #CWCT2013

Yesterday's weather in Cape Town was miserable. I was sitting there trying not to freeze, thinking that trying to find someone to talk to and write for was going to be impossible. I had some unexpected company when a whole flock seagulls and pigeons came to investigate what I was doing. Not sure what they thought of my poetry... ;) 

The only people that were on the Promenade were the die hard athletes - the people that run/jog/walk no matter what the weather. None of them stopped to say hello as they went by but I noticed a few did manage to crack a smile. One lady even stopped to jog on the spot so she could read what I had written and then continued. I have great respect for people that show such commitment - seeing those people out there in the freezing cold, made me feel that I was doing the right thing and that I was in great company if only by association. 

Meet Salie, former resident of Diep River and now residing in Parow. Salie dreams of a drug and gangster free society. He says he lives for his children who make him happiest. He was married for 26 years and has been single for two which he says suits him fine. His greatest achievement was building a 6 wheeler limo which appeared in the newspaper and he hopes to build an even bigger limo in the future as he loves to work with his hands.  

Here's hoping for better weather the rest of the week! 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

#Day2 - Creative Week Cape Town 2013 #PromenadePoetry #CWCT2013 

I started day two in the morning at 10am. It was a completely different vibe down at the Promenade. Maybe it was because it was Monday, maybe because it was the morning or maybe it was just because of the weather but everyone was a lot colder ( no pun intended). Not as many people were walking past and the few that did were a lot more shy and hesitant to interact with me. So I was left alone with my beautiful view of the ocean for the first hour while waiting for someone to write a poem for. 

While waiting, I decided to write a poem about waiting for the public. Sometimes just the act of writing, is what is needed to get momentum going...


It's Monday Morning and Day Two
And I feel like I've got the Promenade Poetry Blues...
For what is a poet without a muse?

The ocean breeze is cold against my skin
But that won't stop the Fire within
Come over here 
And speak to me
So I can write you poetry!

Almost the instant that I picked up the chalk to start writing, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned around and a woman put a handful of coins into my hands without saying anything. She held onto my hands and pure light radiated from her eyes. I asked her if she wanted me to write a poem for her and she said it wasn't necessary. I thanked her and said I would buy more chalk with the money ( I get through about 3 packs of chalk a day!) Her sweet smile was incredible and the warmth she radiated was almost tangible and just like that she was gone.

I don't always get a chance to photograph the people I speak to - sometimes the moment is so quick, it seems over as soon as it's begun. The street sweeper in the yellow jacket in the image above had broken English. He took a very long time reading my poetry. I don't know if he understood or not but I'm glad he came to say hello to me regardless.

Up next was a man who introduced himself as 'the man from the Yellow Pages'. In the short conversation that we had, we discussed family, music and anagrams. He said that he always tries to make people laugh and had some wonderful wordplay. He said that he will be returning to the Promenade later in the week with some music for me and I look forward to his return and to see what he'll bring. 

Meet Klaus - Day Two's Poetry Recipient
 Klaus known as The Mac Guy  is a German living and working in Cape Town. He fell in love with Cape Town and a South African in the 90s. His relationship didn't work out but his love affair with Cape Town did! He asked me to write a poem about graffiti. We had a short discussion about street art/graffiti and the public's perception of what it is. Check out some of his incredible photography on Instagram (@klauswarschkow) 
To see a short movie of me writing the full poem for Klaus, go to his Vimeo link:

Someone asked me yesterday what writing poetry does for me. I explained that it's who I am. I feel most alive and in the present moment when I write. Thank you to all of you who have come to share a bit of your story with me so far. I look forward to meeting more of you in the rest of the week. If you would like to see what time I will be at the Promenade, check out the Creative Week Cape Town Event Listing:

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Promenade Poetry - Creative Week Cape Town 2013 - Day 1

As part of Creative Week Cape Town 2013, I will be writing poetry about and for the public at the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town. To find out more about the project, follow me on Twitter: @AmyKayeSA

#Day1 - #PromenadePoetry #CWCT2013

This afternoon, I went down to the Sea Point Promenade to realise a dream of sharing my poetry with the public. Even though I have read my poetry professionally before, this was something completely different. The idea behind the project is to write original poetry each day for whomever happens to pass by or for people that specifically want me to write poetry for them.  The thought of trying to write original poetry for complete strangers is both terrifying and exciting. Having done documentary film and radio making in the past, I love finding out what people's stories are but being an introvert, I feel quite shy approaching people. However, these creative projects are to help me release my fears, to step out of my comfort zone and in turn will make me more confident in my abilities as a writer and poet. I hope that people feel brave enough to come find me, to ask me about the poetry and of course ask me to write poetry for them.

Meet Megan and Ricky, the first two people to come and talk to me today. They are both originally from Johannesburg and are living in Cape Town. Megan asked me to write a poem about nature. They described themselves as a on again/off again couple. Having spoken to them for a few minutes, I began writing their poem. I focussed on using elements of nature in the poem and the theme of love. It came across as quite romantic even though I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a 'romantic' poet. As a poet, I am trying to encapsulate whomever I meet through my words in a matter of moments. It's almost like taking a snapshot of someone - the poem won't necessarily capture who they are but I hope that it serves to capture that moment in time.

I find people fascinating. Just seeing how different people interacted or blatantly ignored the poetry today was quite intense for me. When the first few people jogged, walked over and walked through the chalk, my heart sank. A range of emotions ran through me. Anxiety, sadness, anger, self pity. Was my poetry that bad that people literally walked all over it? I then waited a while and started to notice the patterns of people. Every single one of the children that were there today (including the little guy above), stopped to either come read the poetry, watch me write and for those who couldn't read yet just stood and looked at it. The adults? Not so much. What does this say about us as adults? Have we forgotten how to see the world as our playground? Do children recognise creativity and art more easily than us? 

One lady from Switzerland came running up to me and asked if I was the artist that you heard about on the Creative Week Cape Town event listing. 
She then read the poem and asked who 'Jozi' was as she thought it was the name of a woman. Jozi is actually the nickname South Africans give to the city of Johannesburg. 
Hearing people reading my poetry out loud, to their children, to themselves and to each other was something I've never had the privilege of experiencing before. To have my words come out of other people's mouths is a feeling that I think all artists or creatives long for. It's the ultimate expression of being heard.

I don't know what will happen to my poetry tonight. Tomorrow when I return, it may have been washed away by the ocean or rubbed away by the wind and jogger's feet. Leaving it there out in the open, in the elements leaves me feeling vulnerable and out of control. But letting go is all part of this creative experiment and I am excited to see how the poetry will progress over the week and how far down the promenade I manage to get (weather dependent).

Tomorrow morning I will be at The Promenade from 10am. If you're in the area, come and say hi. I will be posting the times I will be on the Promenade, later in the week so keep posted.