The Hairbag Poet

Hi and welcome to my Friday series titled The Hairbag Poet.

A few weeks ago, around Thanksgiving, I was talking with my very talented sister-in-law (Cherise) about collaborating on an idea I was working on. Cherise is a very artistic, and intelligent woman, and has many talents, but her photography is stunning. Her pictures are amazing.  She takes her camera with her everywhere, and captures moments that take your breath away.  Cherise and my brother live in Maine, which is just the perfect backdrop for any photographer, and I thought we could combine her love of photography and my love of writing, and poetry, and she happily agreed.

However, what I didn’t realize was my brothers disappointment, hurt, and rejected feelings at not being asked to collaborate with me as well (insert baby violin player here).  He texted me after they got home expressing his feelings of repudiation.  So I told him to submit his portfolio, and I would consider a possible collaboration with him as well (I really didn’t mean it). My brother is an ex NYPD cop, who is now a really great cook, but he’s not exactly what you would call “artsy”. He sent me his photos anyway, and they took my breath away (like when you get punched in the stomach, or you smell something foul and have to hold your breath).  Now I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so I happily provided some poetry to his “work”. He continued to send me photographs, and I continued to meet his challenge, and found myself having a lot of fun.

Now fast forward a few weeks…

I was using the term Hairbag to describe someone I thought was not a stellar worker one day and got a few funny laughs from my friends who had never heard the term Hairbag before. I couldn’t remember the origin of the word, but I knew it somehow related to a police slang, that I no doubt picked up from my brother many years ago.  I texted him asking him to explain to me what the word meant, and indeed it was a derogatory police slang for cops who do nothing, complain, have given up, and are waiting to retire. So we had a good laugh that I used the  word appropriately, he sent me more of his photographic disasters (I mean works of art), and I continued to return lousy poetry (eloquent verse), and he started calling me the Hairbag Poet, which made me laugh, and I thought it would be fun to share our collaborations.

I am always inspired by great collaborators, and two writers who have inspired me to unite artwork and poetry are Laura Purdie Salas and Penny Parker Klostermann. They do it beautifully.

In the blogging world Fridays are known as Poetry Friday.  You can read about Poetry Friday here. I will plan on posting The Hairbag Poet each Friday.

I hope you enjoy these posts.  Thanks for stopping by and reading, and please feel free to post your own poetry in the comments if you feel inspired by the photographs.  I always love reading other peoples perspectives on “art”.

The Hairbag Poet

Here is our first collaboration:

Photo by Donald who says, “The depth and the lines are amazing!!”

Manic Depression

Duplicitous I am.
Cool steel fissures divides.
Dirty, sharp blades, and metal
tines haunt my nightmares,
Quelled only with the ablutions
of warm, sudsy foam.