The Silver Surfer and The Belle of the Insurgency at Sayler Park

by | Jun 9, 2024 | poetry | 4 comments


Sayler Park is Cincinnati’s westernmost neighborhood, a narrow strip along the Ohio River with lots of history and noble trees. The producer of Sayler Park Sustains, a yearly festival emphasizing ecology, read my recent blog post about Free Thoughts and invited me to participate.



I brought two eye-catching typewriters: The Silver Surfer (Hermes 3000) and The Belle of the Insurgency (Optima). I also invited two local poets, recent MFA Matt Farley and Art Academy of Cincinnati professor Matt Hart.

The machines and Matt Farley:


The Matts listen to a festival goer:


I wrote a few poems—no masterpieces, but they fit people’s current moods and needs, and that’s the main thing. Here are some.


This one was for Jen, who invited me to the festival. It brought a few tears, so I consider it a success.

Here are two different responses, from me and Matt Farley, to the very sustainable theme of “compost.”

I should have said “The world has no offramp.”


Matt Hart has a gift for surreal imagery:


But the main thing we did was not write poems. There were plenty of kids at the festival …

… and the human kids wanted to type. We gave them that chance.






This serious young man spent about half an hour creating his piece of literature:



Hey, whatever gets kids to focus on a typewriter …
A good friend is teaching a high-school class on analog writing next year. He describes an exchange with a student:
She said, “I want to get a typewriter. I need to learn how to use one.” I said, “Well, the first part of our class will be about how to handle a typewriter.” She said, “Good! I think it will be important for the future.”
Yes, it will. 


  1. Joe V

    I consider this a great success! Writing impromptu poems on demand in public isn’t easy, I continue to be amazed at your results.

  2. Tom Fasano

    You've inspired me to try to organize a type-in in my community of Claremont, CA. The challenge is my lack of experience and not knowing where to begin. The public library for securing a room, perhaps?

  3. Richard P

    Wonderful! Yes, some public libraries have hosted type-ins successfully. A noisier, more freewheeling alternative is a coffeeshop or bar (just ask the management, they'll probably be happy to agree). An outside venue such as a park can also work well. Then, use social media to spread the word (I'd help).

  4. Anonymous

    Wish I could have been there! Regards!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


typewriter revolutionary factory logo




Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pkwy.
Cincinnati, OH. 45207