Meet Old Banger!

My experiment in creating Insta-Poems over the summer has been asleep and dreaming of the next market season. As winter rushed in, I gathered some opportunities to kindle the poem-flame, and I turned to the typewriter to some midwinter gift poems (which I may or may not post later…I’m not sure!). I am using my extra indoor winter-time today to share the story of my typewriter–the handy tool of my trade that makes my poems quick to print and easy to read.


The slips of paper taped to the inside of the lid are poem fragments from my first market day.

Since I first saw this Underwood Leader at a neighborhood garage sale, I ran my fingers over it, marveled over its simple classic style, and wondered how the neighbors could ask only four dollars for such a beauty. I knew that this “1940s typewriter” (as it was labeled) would be a valuable addition to my humble furnishings. I had owned a couple of typewriters before–both clunkers compared to this one. This typewriter, which I haven’t named, but casually call “the old banger” is lightweight and works smoothly. It is compact and light enough to carry for a few blocks.

At last summer’s markets, the amount of people who stopped to check out my typewriter was comparable to the amount of those who asked for poems. Kids under four feet tall especially liked to stop and ask questions. The following are comments I would often hear (from adults); my responses are in italics:

“That’s a sound I haven’t heard in a while.” “I hear it quite often!”

“Can you get a ribbon for that anymore?” “Yes! Can you get suspenders for pants anymore?”

“Do you know what that is called?” “Yes! Old Banger! It took a while for the inspiration to come, but that is what I call it, for now.”


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