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25 November 2009 @ 01:25 pm
Vladimir the Poet  
He's been wandering Pioneer Square at lunch time for the last three days.

He is dark dark-skinned black, his accent African, his tone soft and polite. His eyes focus in slightly different directions and a long time ago, he had a head injury which is long healed and scarred and set. He and his clothes are clean.

On Monday, I was walking past Elliott Bay Book Co. when he stepped forward from where he was standing, and said, "Excuse me, I am writing poems, are you busy?"

I looked him in the eyes and said, "I am." I kept walking to lunch, but his manner struck me.

On Tuesday, I was walking down Jackson and he stepped forward at Occidental, and said, "Excuse me, ma'am, I am writing poems. I am a Shaman among my people in [country I don't remember]. What is your name?"

I stopped reading and looked at the stack of free postcards in his hands and the poised pen. "What is your name?" I asked him.

"Vladimir."

"Hi, Vladimir. I'm Kim." I shook his hand.

"Can I write you a poem?"

"Not today. But I think I will see you again." I kept walking to lunch, and this time his manner struck me even more. I turned back, and he was walking in the other direction.

Today, I was walking down 1st Ave after lunch and he stepped forward from where he was standing, "Excuse me, ma'am, I am writing poetry."

I was reading, and I looked up into his eyes and smiled. I kept walking.

"Ma'am." He paused. "Ma'am, excuse me."

I kept walking.

At the end of the block, I turned around. He was walking in the other direction.

Does he want money? Are they good poems? Is his name Vladimir today? Does he recognize the people he speaks with everyday? I don't know.

Perhaps next Monday I will see him again and find out.
 
 
 
urlgirlurlgirl on November 25th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
I met Vladimir's doppelganger in Chicago last spring. The poem was beautiful. You should hear him out :)
butterflake on November 26th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Vladimir wrote me a poem, but his name was something else and he was from Puerto Rico just trying to get to a hostel in Capitol Hill. He was very sweet and the poem was in French and started with the letters of my name.

Sad to know I wasn't really helping him get to his beloved with the $5 I gave him, but hell, at least he's on the streets trying to do something pretty and if you look him in the eye, he's present and makes you feel like a human.