Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Art of Risking

(photos by Syreeta McFadden. full album is available here.)

-Samantha Thornhill

Risk is a topic artists often talk, discuss. When poets look over each others poems and give constructive thoughts, the question often comes: what is this poem risking?

What do poets risk by making our private thoughts public? By committing experiences, afflictions, lies, and shames to paper? What do we risk to gain? What do we risk to know? What do we risk to change? What do we risk to reveal? What do we risk to risk?

This risk business can become all very abstract.

I believe that every poem is a risk of some sort. Even if the risk is spending precious time on something that sucks.

We were five poets strong on this bustling Saturday in New York City. Any one of us could have been doing many other things. We risk time.

I had to tear myself away from my novel, which was actually going well for once. I risk momentum.

Joining us for the first time, Ngoma rolled out of bed and flew straight downtown to meet us. He risks a growling stomach.

This September 11, I was on my way to the Bowery Poetry Club to do a taping of the Illiad. I was to be Helen of Troy. I hopped the 6 where a veteran for peace was speaking against war, which inevitably means speaking against this country's policies.

Standing not far from him, a stalwart American, much younger in years, began shouting, dubbed him anti-American. By the time I exited the train, the two men had come to blows.

And all I could think about was PUP. We risk getting beat up.

I believe greatly in risk. Tangible risk. Risk you can rub between your fingers and smear on a wall. Risk that changes climates, not just weather.

I think to the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, who, after his poems incited revolt and got him arrested in 1938, was tortured, placed knee deep in shit on the warship where his trial was held. To survive that stench he sang at the top of his lungs every love poem he knew.

He risked everything.

Now here I was on the train listening to Adam our resident songbird, blessing our ears with:

If you all right say yeah. Yeah. If you all right say yeah. Yeah...

Though his heart may have been racing like this train, his face showed no fear. I was so inspired by his willingness to bear that burden of being first today. That risk. I never take for granted all of the work a poet must do to meet at the Ghandi statue. To swipe that card and stand clear of the closing doors. To see all of these people peacefully reading, dreaming inside their I-Pods, carrying on conversations. Then to interrupt all of that. To be so bombastic in this belief that this lump in the throat is so crucial that it must bogard the silences between us.

As Adam launched into his piece, I thought. What will I risk?

And so, I had to pull out my ode to twins.

Yes, boobs.

It is a discussion of the body. My body. Its wild ways. And toward the end, I cupped my breasts in the middle of this train car and I felt no fear. Because of this, I know I am freer today than I was yesterday. I risk nothing.

Ngoma was a crazy man! I will ride the train with this brother anytime. He filled the potentially awkward silences with his singing, swinging around, and pushing his pelvis into the pole as he made love to Nefertiti inside the imagination of his poem. He was so incredibly free.

Jon will stun the air with a poem in the voice of the black woman he once overheard on a bus in Queens, then turn around with his white boy litany, a self portrait that juxtaposes how he sees himself with how others see him-- through the prism, race.

And Marcy. Ever since the earthquake hit her mother country, this poem has been coming. It begins with a mournful song. Once people realized the poem was about Haiti they paid extra close attention. I could hear the tears rising up in her throat and wondered if she would make it. Gut wrenching, her line about Haitians worshipping a white Jesus, only to find their own faces white with dust.

Afterwards I told her that I had never heard that piece. Her response: I've never done it before.


On one of our rides a stranger was moved to take center stage and start free styling, making us all clap and rejoice. In that brief moment between not knowing and knowing, I thought he was one of us. And he was.

Some physicists believe when you drop a stone into a pond, the ripples last forever.
These are probably the same physicists who believe that every moment lasts an infinity.
And in the physics of words, I believe both of these theories to be true.

In her poem, "One Art", Elizabeth Bishop instructs us to lose something every day.

I would like to replace lose with risk.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Goal!!! – A Celebration on the Q Train

Goal!!! – A Celebration on the Q Train

- Jon Sands

This past Saturday, PUP tried to get the day warmed up for the US soccer team. I like to think we did our part (as did the Q Train… and Ghana). Jared Singer, Adam Bowser, Elana Bell, Ken Arkind, Marcy Alexis, Rico Steal, Syreeta McFadden and I met (as always) at the Gandhi statue in Union Square. We escaped the summer heat to bring our ruckus to the Brooklyn bound Q train.

I’ve got to say, something in spontaneous art has lit a fire for me. I’ve loved each location we’ve been able to “pop up.” Adam Falkner, Samantha Thornhill, and I were asked to pop at the “Hollywood Does Poetry” benefit for Bowery Arts & Science (which meant Adam & I got to shake Tony Soprano’s (James Gandolfini) hand, as he said, “I yain’t nevah seen nuttin’ like dat.” (I wanted to say “f’gedaboutit.”) PUP popped at an Emily Dickinson tribute reading at the Botanical Gardens. Adam Falkner, Eboni Hogan, and I popped up at a party where this amazing advocate of the arts who works for the United Nations unveiled an “art door” of hundreds of compiled poetry lines. Samantha, Elana, and Akua rocked Whole Foods. The spontaneity and surprise, as well as poetry being playful, serious, spontaneous, anything-but-serious, necessary, community-based, loving, and reaching has been the breeze in this entire sail… That said…

Subway readings are my favorite. They’re spontaneous, although less for us than the rest of the train, which makes it even better. Eight of us board, each from different doors. We sit in different seats. Some stand at the handrails, some have sunglasses, some beards down to their nipples, tall, short, guys, ladies, many different shades of amazing. When we’re all separate, our faces don’t scream, “We’re together.” For me, that’s where part of the magic lies.

The doors closed on the second train we boarded Saturday. Marcy hopped up first from the middle of a group of 10 Indian ladies in traditional garb (If she’s afraid of anything, I don’t know what it is). We were trading off the lead off spot. It’s hard to go first because, as far as the whole train knows, you’re not part of any group. You’re just a person speaking to the Q train… But you don’t seem crazy “cause this sounds kinda nice.” You probably are trying to make a buck “but the doors just opened and closed, so if this is a business, it’s not a good one.”

Slowly in that first poem or two, people learn that no one will ask them for dollars. Nothing gives a crowded train more permission to connect than the feeling that they won’t have to pay for it. Marcy finishes her poem to a smattering of applause, as everyone but the poets thinks, “That was a good way to spend 3 minutes (a la Roger BA), and now it’s over, right?” I love this moment. From the other end of the train, Adam Bowser starts his Michael Jackson poem, and by the time he gets to, “Tell them to remember his James Brown!” this train is whooping and hollering. Adam finishes and one of the Indian ladies hops up and starts doing some dance, and all the other ladies and their children are now clapping and cheering and NONE of the train knows who’s with who or what is happening. We’re clapping and chanting as much as they are.

By the time Jared and Ken’s beards emerge from the stream of passengers attached to poems of punk rock, love, and hearts that are volume knobs, you can feel the train thinking, “This is AMAZING.” Am I the only person not a poet?” And might that be how it should be? Isn’t life more fun when you halfway suspect the person next to you has the capacity to change your day, even if they don’t? It’s changed the way I ride the train. It’s changed the way I walk through the city. As if art lurks around every bodega. It’s gonna hop out of a trashcan. I’m in on it, and I still walk around feeling like something amazing could happen at any moment of the day. I would say that’s part of what Samantha, Adam, and I were thinking when we started PUP. We wanted to leave groups of people feeling like art can happen anywhere… like it might be happening right now. Like, a reverse panopticon. I’ll say it has been 38 times more fun and exhilarating to put it into practice than it was to talk about it (and talking about it was FUN).

That’s how Saturday felt. Elana had the music bug and so the Q train was singing! With her! When anyone could be involved, it means you can be involved. New York City…World... Please keep surprising me. It feels way better than all this expecting. Jon Sands and the PUPers, signing off.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

PUP Barks at the Botanical Gardens by Elana Bell

Poetry in the Botanical Garden, popping up like the first buds of spring, and that's what we were on this balmy Saturday afternoon, as we joined Bob Holman and Marilyn Nelson in presenting the poetry of Emily Dickinson, along with original work. Bob had invited us to share his time and add a little something unexpected to the mix.

We got there just as the reading was starting, and planted ourselves at various spots throughout the courtyard. The crowd was intimate, and the smell of too many sweet flowers to name drifted in on the breeze. But looking around at the subdued crowd, I knew they were not ready for what was about to come their way.

Marilyn Nelson started the reading, presenting a group of Dickinson's poems, along with several of her own which referred to Dickinson or touched on her themes. As the gentle applause died down, I looked over at Samantha with a twinkle in my eye. Who knew what was about to happen? We had a few things planned, but as with any PUP event, we knew the magic would unfold in the improvisation of the moment.

Bob took the stage and read the first few lines of Dickinson's "I reckon." Suddenly, Samantha and I popped up to join him, creating a chorus of voices. The audience gasped. Who were these women, not on the program? As we finished the first poem, Bob made the announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to the pop-up poets, PUP, Poetry in Unexpected Places! Careful. You might be sitting next to one of them right now!"

The crowd giggled nervously, and everyone gave a curious glance to their neighbor. The reading continued. Bob read several of his own poems. Then, another surprise. John Murillo took the mic and began to beat box. Ed stepped to the stage and brought his b-boy stance, and Samantha Bob, and I traded lines on Emily's poem "Answer July," where the poet interrogates the month of July, which in turn interrogates, May, which interrogates the Bluejay...
Answer July-
Where is the Bee-
Where is the Blush-
Where is the Hay?

Go ahead. Read it to yourself. It's almost impossible to avoid the rhythm. Who knew? The crowd was stunned. This was not what they were expecting at a tea-time Emily Dickinson reading!

We continued, and although the audience knew to some extent what to expect, we kept surprising them, like when Ed came out with his cult favorite "Alien Registration Number."
And Bob read from his new chapbook Box, of which he explained when he was finished reading, "The book is in the shape of a box. That's the point!"

The last poem was Dickinson's "Wild Nights," which we performed as a group piece, circling the audience repeating the phrase "wild nights" as Bob and Samantha recited the verses. We ended by getting the audience to join in, shouting "wild nights" into the early evening spring air.
Sweet, sweet. The Botanical Gardens will never be quite the same. Thanks Bob! Thank you Emily! Here's to more wild, poetic nights...

Elana, blogging for PUP

PS- After the reading we fielded questions from audience members wanting to know when they could catch the next PUP/Pop up poet event...

Coming soon to a _________near you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Poems and a Metrocard by Marcy Alexis

Photo by Syreeta McFadden

“What’s your Alien Registration number?” – Ed

Assaulted with poetry! Yes, that’s exactly how I’d like to spend my Sunday afternoon on such a breathtaking day in mid-May.

The weather was a consistent warm hug. As a New Yorker, all you can do is talk about the weather on a day like yesterday.. all day! People were just happy to re-introduce their faces and toes to the sun.

What a day indeed first ride-along with PUP (Poets in Unexpected Places/Pop Up Poets). I was initially hesitant to join this band of poetic misfits, but knew I’d eventually be one of the pack. Especially after hearing the tales of train and supermarket mayhem from their first two adventures. My passion for poetry gets me in all sorts of predicaments!

Samantha, Jon-Ivan, Adam, Ed, Jared, Darian, and Jeanann were my fellow Pop Ups we did just that.

Who will be next? What will they say? Which passenger is really a Poet? Why are they doing this? We made ourselves known randomly by one, as commuters on the Q-train soon realized we were indeed armed with poetry.

PUP popped like kettle corn in five trains yesterday. Most passengers weren’t only receptive, but they were vocal about how much they appreciated the art accompaniment on their commute. Some took pictures, others sat at attention with their children, and still others almost jumped in! Even funnier were the expressions on the faces of those who were about to board our impromptu train takeover! Classic!

Samantha Thornhill set it off with a Lucille Clifton poem, as we later laughed out loud at Jon’s antics about the MTA and “he don’t do nothing but smoke.” Adam eased the tension with a song and a stanza, while Ed hung on arm bars and later introduced us to his not-so-subtle inner stalker.

Jared’s stories of comic books and awkward adolescent glances made us reminisce and smile. Likewise, Darian and his Mom appreciation was felt across the board. A tattooed Jeanann told tales of ripping tin cans with her bare hands ..and yes, we sure did believe her! And ya’ll know me.. well, I’m bad.. "I am a lioness, I’d walk through hell wearing a gasoline soaked dress!" LOL I started a women’s empowerment movement with that poem. The women on the train were more than ready to stand up and douse their dresses with gasoline ..flick, flick .. I’m bad!

Though the day was enjoyable, I’d have to say that the most memorable moments were the ones involving children. We received support from several parents who were overjoyed by our presence. Some children didn’t quite understand all that was being said, or why their Mom/Dad was listening so intently. Yet, they stopped to take note and open their eyes to this world of word and expression.

The Poets all had different accounts of what went down on their end of the train. My personal favorite was one that I didn’t even witness. Jared shared a story about a mother and her two boys. These boys clearly acknowledged their stop on the train and starting to get up. As they were preparing to exit, their Mother firmly took them by the shoulders and sat them back down. That family of three stayed with us for the remainder of the ride. Now that’s love New York!!

Most people take the train to their destination.. well yesterday, the train was our destination ..Pop Up Poets. Where to next?

- Marcy Alexis, Poet with a Metrocard
(Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm the bald chick wearing the shades ...and my gasoline soaked dress!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Outside Hollywood Does Poetry

PUP and violinist Janelle X., standing outside after their pop up performance at the annual Hollywood Does Poetry benefit for Bowery Arts & Sciences, our umbrella organization.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Dream Fulfilled--by Samantha Thornhill

Ever since my talk with Khadijah, where she mentioned doing poems in a grocery store, the dream has been relentless. It is a waking dream. It involves me performing my ode to picking blackberries in the produce section.

Today the dream came true, and Elana and Akua showed up to star in it, outside of Whole Foods, our next target. Moses, our filmographer was also there, ready to capture these moments, as he did on the trains with us almost a week ago.

How were we to do it? And how many poems could we get in before security arrived?

We plotted. Weighed the unknowns. But in the end, we headed downstairs not knowing what to expect, much like our unsuspecting audience. And so, as shoppers buzzed past me with their carts and their lists, I pulled out my carton of blackberries and began to recite my poem while eating them--more challenging than I thought. But it felt something like flying, as I approached customers with my discovery, these wondrous blackberries that I came across one day in the woods off the coast of Seattle.

My legs took me all over the produce section as I said my poem to whoever would listen. Some people stopped to behold the activity with clear appreciation, while others scattered like roaches in sudden light at the sight of me--particularly the couple fondling the lemons, the ones I approached to tell them about this marvelous gift.

When I ended, Elana, in the fish section, tapped a stranger on the back and began reciting her poem about eel--the first line mentions her walking to the refrigerator naked. The worker weighing tilapia raised his eyebrows at the sudden intimacy, and as the customer recieved his fish and scurried away, Elana began to continue her poem to the worker, who listened with clear amusement. The moment was beyond priceless, as customers bumped into one another in trying to flee or to catch a listen.

A few people who stopped to listen to me tuned into Elana, who was speaking to the whole store now. Workers scurried around us, not wanting to interrupt or get in the way of the camera, not quite knowing what to do. We simply took over. When Elana was finished, a small applause.

But it wasn't over. Because Akua emerged with a love poem in the flower section, nearby. The repeat customers stood and obeyed the moment, arrested by her words. By then, our number was up. A worker was on his way with a walkie talkie. We found that Whole Foods was less concerned about the fact that we broke out in poems in their store and more concerned with the fact that we were taping, and so Moses was asked to turn off his camera, as Akua finished up her poem and we dipped.

Outside, on the pavement, we rejoiced, eating the rest of my blackberries. A couple from inside, our captive audience, stopped to speak congratulate us and find out more. In true guerilla fashion, no business cards as yet, Elana tore off a piece of her eel poem and I used it to write down the information to this blog.

So nice couple with the cute baby, if you are reading this, thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed our performances. Your encouragement meant so much. Go tell your friends that today, you got PUPPED!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Magnificent Seven--by Samantha Thornhill

From left to right, Samantha , Jon, Ed, Elana, Akua, Adam & Jai.

A Magnificent Seven

Sunday afternoon found me at Union Square Park in the drizzling rain waiting for poets to show. Ones that promised, ones that didn't. Ones I had successfully convinced to join me in this venture I've been stewing across a string of experiences. Unhingings I like to call them.

It started almost 10 years ago in Tallahassee, where I was born into spoken word. I was younger then and much more fearless. With my poetry troupe (BACK TALK!) I used to do poems on the streets of New Orleans and everywhere else we travelled. Keith and I used to perform poetry and hustle our CD's in barbershops on Fridays (pay day). And more recently: my 40 minute featture at a 7,000 person audience in Prospect Park--99% of them definitely not there for poetry. A needle exchange program in midtown, the one by buddy Jon runs. Rikers Island Jail. The health clinic waiting room where I performed poems while people waited to get screened for HIV. Halfway through my set I asked the audience if they had ever been to a poetry venue. They watched me. I asked them if they liked poetry. The answer: we do now.

That equal parts warmed me and angered me. I do not think I should be someone's first good impression of poetry but I was happy to have to do for the time being.

Then there was Roger's poem, which was about him reading a poem he loved on a train , only for the riveted audience to learn in the end that the incident never happened.

I asked myself: well why the hell not?

And so I started PUP--Poets in Unexpected Places. And this Sunday was our first official meeting. First to show was Moses, not one of the poets, but a photographer/ aspsiring filmmaker who is passionate about our venture and was happy to capture it. Seven poets, a magnificent seven, showed on this drippy day, all in varying moods and states of mind, to gather in front of the statue of Ghandi hardly anyone knew was there until now. The locale was no coincidence. This had everything to do with being the change.

An hour later, we found ourselves underground, all seven of us boarding the Brooklyn bound Q train as perfect strangers, everyone seating themselves...except for me. And so it begins. The inst ant the doors closed I announced to the entire car:

"Miss Rosie. A poem by the late great American poet, Lucille Clifton."

Elana would later tell me that the moment I uttered the Lucille Clifton's name, a woman across from her smiled--an auspicious blessing to our debut as a collective.

And without an inch of fear in my heart, just love, I launched into one of my favorite poems in the world. The commut-iny had officially begun!

My captive audience knew not what to make of me. I hardly even looked in their faces., so I cannot say what they looked like. I reveled in not caring. How liberating. Not caring about anything but the words of Lucille Clifton belting out of me. This was the closest a poem not mine could ever be to being mine. And here I was, sharing it with 50+ new friends. What insane fun.

The commuters that put me in the crazy box lifted their eyes when in the second stanza, of "Miss Rosie" Elana rose and joined me, also off paper--a group piece! If folk didn't know it then, they knew it now: this was no accident. And if I was a crazy girl, then I wasn't being crazy all by myself. Because here was Elana, my partner in crime (literally, now) finishing my lines and meeting my gaze for an instant only to whip around attack the other end of the car.

"I stand up," Elana and I said in unison. "Through your destruction/ I stand up."

We sat down. Say Word! I yelled.

Some people looked about, delightfully confused. Whose universe had they just walked into? Ours, dammit. Others remained cool like they see this every day. Liars. I was certain they were exploding inside. Some swallowed their smiles and others made billboards of them, advertising their glee.

One by one, each with their own swaggalicious attitude, the poets made themselves known. Akua liberated her hands of her umbrella, tossing it down to the floor. Pacing the car front to back, front to back, she shared with us her thoughts on "nappy headed hoes" and mused on her own cantankerous mane. She was great to watch, swinging around poles like a pro, sometimes even stooping to address certain people directly, a graceful confrontation.

Say word! Word...

They weren't quite there yet, but were starting to warm up to us. Suspicion fell away. Conversations stopped. I-pods clicked off (or turned up!); headphones remained on for protection. Especially when Jon stepped on the scene with his goofball intelligence and sharp poetic logic. His imagery is so disarmingly off the wall it makes you think. Like really think. While tickling you with its feathers that soared across the car. People began to smile with teeth now. Laughed, even. They couldn't help themselves.

Say Word! Word.

Only for Jai to rise, June Jordan book in hand. Hoodie covered head, he read with this stance , turning the train into his surf board. I've seen Jai perform countless times and I have never seen him perform like this. We were no longer on an elevated stage confined behind a microphone. We were underground, baby! Straight up guerrilla style! People to maneuver. Shopping bags to side step. Babies to consider. Poles to swing on and cling to for emphasis, safety, dramatic effect. The train became a playground. And everywhere each of us looked, at least one of the magnificent seven were there , to support the moment.

The Q train emerged from the underground, plunging the car into daylight. A stunning view of Brooklyn assaulted our gazes, its brown buildings. The dreary day created an intimacy that could only help our cause. Which is to say, finding the comfort outside of the comfortable. Which means, being much less silent than we have been. Ambassadors for our craft. Making it known that poetry lives and breathes--often right beside them. People looked about. Who would it be next? And why was no one asking for change? We were simply being it.

Say word! Word!

Awkward moments passed, even for me. Three poets left to go before we finished this round and hopped another train. Silence. Were people chickening out? Commuters looked about. No one knew who they were sitting next to. Was that the last? Others looked suspiciously about at others. Are you next? Are you? Then Ed, who had been seemingly engrossed in a text stood and began to read from his own chap book. Alien Registration Number? he asked. Cleverly weaved, with very few words, he made his point without making it, and every immigrant in the car couldn't help but smile in silent recognition, including me.

And just when they thought they heard it all, here comes Adam. Adam who is so damn charming and disarming it makes your teeth hurt. Grabbing onto the pole dramatically, like an old curmudgeon telling us youngings a tale of his wild youth, Adam spit a poem about his younger days, when he was first learning to dance to Black music. The nostalgia of remembering all the embarrassing things we did to impress our peers, we chuckled and laughed emerged from the poem incredibly warmed.

There was the demon train, where very few people showed appreciate for us. We later discovered that the cars in that particular model are considerably longer than the newer models, and the chairs aren't conducive to energy flowing, making us work incredibly hard, not realizing why. That train was draining but I loved it! The demon train. Next time we'll be ready for it.

One car in particular, the "love train" we came to call it, was so outwardly appreciative of our presence we left the car overwhelmed with the sound of their clapping trailing us. They applauded more appreciatively than some slam audiences of today. By the third poet in, they were warmed and with us, and understood what we were about. At the end of that ride with the love train, the most amazing 20 minutes of concentrated joy I've lived in recent memory, after everyone else said their piece, I stood up.

Full circle when I launched into one of my personal favorites. The first poem I ever did on a train--two months prior. It was a Wednesday morning as dreary as this Sunday afternoon. Except I was alone, and surrounded by strangers. Not alone and forever lonely. It was one of those dreaded mornings, a personal struggle to get out of bed. I was on the first of my three train commutes to Juilliard where I teach. It's a great place to be, but I wasn't quite sure how I was going to do it today. I looked around. Everyone looked as I felt. As we crammed our bodies into the car , waddling into one another like penguins in our black winter coats. Huddling without touching. Touching without being touched.

My heart racing with fear, with amazing rage, one that is growing in me with each passing day, welled up out my throat and exited in the form of "Signs", one that slipped out my pen years ago in Charlottesville, VA where I attended grad school. This is a poem that has made its travels. South African television (people, stopping me on the streets), Prospect Park Bandshell, Trinidad, prisons, Bar 13, Bowery, Nuyorican, and bars and coffee shops across the country.

And here I was. In a place I spend more time in than any of those places. And instead of the whine of the latte machine or the loquacious guests at the bar, my competition was the rattle of this express train raping its rails.

I went to the end of the car and looked at these people we demanded be our audience. The MTA frowns on this behavior because this here, was a captive audience. Captive indeed. And inside that audience, six magnificent faces stared back at me, these people I will never, ever forget. This moment. I was not alone or lonely this time.

"The same thing that slowly kills us is exactly the thing keeping us alive."

This time the response was overwhelming, as the crowd roared. Moments later, the car doors open. We thanked our audience for listening (even though they had no choice) and they thanked us profusely with their well wishes and lasting clapped. Before we left the car, we said: You just got PUPPED!

After two hours, we all ate afterwards and stewed in what had just taken place, recalling moments, trading observations, gratifying moments, disintergrated terror, what worked and what didnt. But mostly we teased: jai's surf board stance, akua's confrontation ed's stalker piece, when he yelled a line out the door to an exiting commuter right before the doors closed.

I reached home in the early evening and plunged beneath the covers, the hardest I think I ever performed. It was brutal; it was benign. It was freeing. It was draining. So much so that I did not get out of bed until the following morning, when I woke up, full and full of disbelief, bypassed breakfast, and visited my work station to write this.