Henry Goldkamp, age 24, is like a street musician, but instead of making music he makes poems. For free. Using an old typewriter, right there on the street, for anybody that walks by.
Before you get really annoyed, as Daily RFT
instantly was when we heard about this, read the terrific profile
published yesterday by The Beacon
Goldkamp's "real" job is in construction for his family's heating and cooling business, but he does this in his free time. He told the website:
To be satisfied and to sleep at night, you have to lead a double life.
Man, that's really true, as much for blue-collar street poets as for serial killers. But for real, Goldkamp is probably not a serial killer. He's doing something cool.
He first started doing this a year and a half ago (and the Post-Dispatch
did a short write-up
These days, he's calling his operation Fresh Poetry Ink, and he's earning a little money: He's done some weddings, and The Contemporary Art Museum
recently paid him to go do some public outreach by writing his poems. He went to the Galleria. Some people didn't get it; security booted him after a few hours.
is enjoying all of this.
You can read 283 of his poems
on his Fresh Poetry Ink. Say what you will about the poems themselves -- and when you do, keep in mind they're written in only 10 minutes on a 1957 Smith Corona.
We salute him for a couple reasons. Many people fear poetry as too obtuse for their comprehension, or dismiss it as the masturbatory musings of over-educated jerks who try to get it published in stuffy lit journals.
But in reality, it's one of the oldest art forms of our species, and Goldkamp is quite literally bringing it to regular citizens in the middle of their day.
Secondly, it's just a cool concept to do what he's doing, and makes St. Louis look cool.
Keep it up, Fresh Poetry Ink.