A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.

Finding Poetry


This double-life poet worked overtime on both fronts this week. The poet staked out old and new writing spaces, made five poetry submissions for her boot camp obligation, and went to the poetrySpark planning meeting on Tuesday.  The data guru was busy in meetings for five projects, reviewing project notes and report drafts, and designing interview protocols. The poet thought about going to an open mic on Thursday, but decided to stay home so the data guru could pack for a conference in Chicago. Neither one of us had much down time to think or process what was seen, heard, or experienced, let alone make a dent in the summer reading list.

It’s easy to lose touch with creativity, especially when the business of poetry is what is keeping you uninspired.  When I first got the idea for this blog post, I was riding on the DRX bus, typing on my iPhone when I could have been reading on the Kindle or writing in the  journal I take everywhere. But in between the search for words on the page, I looked up and found little bits of poetry sprinkled here and there:

Emergency Exit

Exits are identified by red
Handles on the side of windows.
Locate your nearest exit.

This sign is posted on the back of every seat. I’ve read it a thousand times, and each time, the line break between ‘red’ and ‘handles’ still amazes me. I know the decision to break the line there was based solely on the available space on this 3×3 inch placard, but it is a stroke of genius!  Then there’s the haiku-like quality of this sign:

 Turn Then Push Knob to Exit

Y después
La perilla
Para abrir

Although this sign poem is in Spanish, the rhythm, the alliteration in the ‘p’ sound, and the assonance in the ‘ri’ diphthong are unmistakable. I have to look up to see the sign, which I often forget to do. Usually, I’m too wrapped up in thoughts or a book to see the poetry around me. But I always enjoy it when I do.

Author: poetsdoublelife

Poet and strategy/data guru living in Massachusetts.

2 thoughts on “Finding Poetry

  1. Exits are identified by red
    Handles on the side of windows.
    Locate your nearest exit.


    Kind of neat

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