You know that a public space is inviting if there are people in there every time you walk by. When that space is a quiet area in a back corner of a museum set aside for poetic contemplation and respite, you make invisible fist pumps of joy and plan to come back later when you can abuse your staff privilege of getting in there before it opens to the public.
This is exactly what happened with Line Break, an installation at PEM for the Mass Poetry Festival. (Read more about the background of the two artists and plans for the space here: Line Break on masspoetry.org)
When Colleen and Lillian first approached my colleague and I about a poetry installation during the festival, we were eager to try to make it happen, but neither of us suspected, I think, how successful they would be at creating the atmosphere they described: the soft hum and click of an old slide projector, the feeling of floating as you lay beneath the hammock of words, the wordless invitation of blank books and pure white pencils.
(Blank books always call to me, I always answer.)
My favorite lines I saw float across the net/hammock were:
“if your net
would it feel
like raised hands?”
And, based off another quote from a few lines later, I wrote this poemlet:
Almost feather, almost fin
almost heaven, almost in.
Almost always, almost lost–
What’s the danger? What’s the cost?
Almost sorry, almost wise,
almost perfect in your eyes.