Dangerous Compassions

pride poetry


Oh hey.  I heard about some special pride poetry thing.  I heard about it from a Lex ad.  You dial a phone number during certain hours, and someone would write a poem about the subject of your choice.  Wow, instant poetry gratification.

I didn’t know anything about it.

  • Was I supposed to pay money?
  • Was this a small quirky idea, or a grand project of many?
  • Would the poet be kind, cranky, quick?
  • Would the event be under-attended?

A flier said a donation was made to a LA queer charity for every poem written.  So I thought asking for a poem was a way of doing a good deed.  The good deed aspect encouraged me to try.

Curious, I dialed the number.  There was a friendly recorded greeting, and I pushed one to speak with a poet.  I waited on hold for a while.  The hold music was kinda pretty.  At first I thought it was enya–then it got different.

I thought maybe no one would answer, and I thought about hanging up.  But then a small voice said, “You’ve reached pride poetry somethinorother.  Can I please have your name?”

the encounter

I was surprised I was being asked for my name and said, “Laura-Marie.”  The poet asked me about the spelling.  Then they asked me what I’d like a poem about today.

“Rivers and riverbeds,” I said.  While waiting on hold, I’d tried to think of a topic.  I chose that one sort of impulsively.

The poet asked me a lot of questions about rivers.  They said they knew very little about rivers, and they seemed excited to learn more.  Felt great to share a collaborative learning experience.

“You help me love rivers more!” I said.  The good questions were helping me understand why rivers are so amazing.


Felt like some of the best therapy I’ve ever had, so nurturing.  But instead of being told that I’m codependent, I got a beautiful poem!  It made me wish for more ways to interact with strangers over the phone for fun and healing, without having to dredge a bunch of pain.

The poet emailed me the poem, and I wish I could paste it here for you.  But it’s not mine to share!  I will tell you it features beavers, goddesses, and surprise.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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