I admire an innovative busker.
Like Paul, for instance. Paul writes poetry.
I met Paul earlier this spring on a trip to Orlando, Florida. I didn’t go there for the Mouse; I was lured there by an all-expenses-paid trip offered by one of the companies for which my Beloved sells insurance.
On our last morning there after we enjoyed brunch by the lake, we watched Paul set up shop. When I realized what he was up to, I loved everything about him: His tie, his neatly combed hair, his old-fashioned typewriter–and he was a writer! Who doesn’t love a writer? Certainly another writer appreciates one of her own kind. So I loved his hustle.
So I asked my husband what topic we should give him. “Something hard,” I said. “We gotta make him work.”
So to heck with love or puppies or lakeside views! I walked up and asked him what he charges for a poem.
“They’re priceless,” he said.
“Free?” I said, incredulous.
“Well, you can pay me whatever you think it’s worth.”
“OK, I’m in. Here’s my topic. It’s a hard one, OK?”
“Sure, I like a challenge.”
Paul seemed nonplussed. Apparently he’d had enough with writing about puppies.
He said he needed a half hour or so, and I told him I’d be back in an hour or two.
Off I went to watch the movie “Life,” a chronicle about death on a space station. I returned to Earth, and to Paul.
He wrapped up the last stanza (he doesn’t write boring old limericks, nosiree, he writes 16-line poems!), and pondered a title. He finally settled on a dedication to my Beloved, the insurance salesman.
Paul cleared his throat and performed his poem for me and a small crowd of fans (OK, maybe they weren’t fans of anything more than the cool lake view, but they were fans nonetheless).
To be honest, I don’t think it’s very flattering to insurance salesmen. But Paul didn’t promise purple prose–he promised poetry about insurance. Which he delivered.
So I handed him $10, and he bid me well, eager to get on to his next creation: About puppies.
Follow Paul Felker on Instagram #paulspoems and #paul_felker.