As you may have heard, Mall of America is marking its 25th anniversary. Just imagine: there was a time before Mall of America! Or maybe don’t imagine it: the horrible thought may drive you mad! As part of their celebrations, Mall of America is looking for a Writer-in-Residence, a “special scribe” who will receive the wondrous chance “to spend five days deeply immersed in the Mall atmosphere while writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words”. There are other prizes for the person who is chosen as this “special scribe” but isn’t the opportunity to spend five days in Mall of America prize enough? I think it is, and if you disagree then you have no business being alive! Anyway, I am applying and I am very confident that I will be selected. My submission will be an entirely original poem that I am calling “The Love Song of Mall of America”. I’m not going to give it all away here, of course, but for my loyal readers here is a little sample of the first draft. Enjoy as you would five days at Mall of America!
The Love Song of Mall of America
Let us go then, girls and boys,
Where there is a CordaRoys
Right above a Kids Foot Locker;
Let us go, past Aldo’s Accessories,
And the five Caribou Coffees,
Past the Sunglass Huts and Sunglass Depots,
Prof Bellows Old Time Photos:
Stores that soothe like A Relaxing Massage
Offering wondrous passage
To lead you to Alpaca Connection. . . .
Oh, do not ask, “Where is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the food court the people come and go
Looking for Great Steak & Potato.
It’s a work in progress but I’m hopeful that with Mall of America’s support I may be able to complete my opus. In the meantime, can I say that this really does sound like a dream gig?
“During the MOA Writer-in-Residence Program the Winner’s workspace will be located in a common area space within Mall of America. The core daily work hours will be 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. While the Winner will be encouraged to take breaks from writing to explore the Mall, post on social media, eat and find inspiration, the Winner will need to be physically present at the writer’s desk for no fewer than four (4)hours per day. The Winner’s ongoing work may be displayed in almost-real time on a large monitor at the workspace. The work product may scroll continuously throughout the day for passersby to view. Content will not be displayed on the monitor until it has been submitted by the Winner and approved by a Mall of America Marketing representative. The Winner must submit new content of no less than 150 words, to be displayed on the monitor at three (3) mutually agreed upon times each day. Winner’s written work must not be inaccurate, derogatory, incompatible with, inconsistent with, or otherwise contradictory to the Mall of America’s desired presentation of the Mall or the patrons, tenants, licensees, invitees, or employees of the Mall.”
I often forget to eat or look for inspiration and so it will be very useful when they encourage me to do so. And no one is as good at sitting at a desk for four hours than I am. Furthermore, I already live in almost-real time. Seriously, it’s like they’re looking for me!