Three unique acts draw big crowds at September’s Friday Art Walk

This month’s First Friday Art Walk in Portland had a different feel to it, a more local, laid back atmosphere.

With tourist season behind us, Portlanders came out in droves to reclaim their city. There were dozens of street performers there to entertain the crowd and rake in a little cash, but three of them really stood out.

There was a break dancing group set up right at the top of Forest Avenue outside the Maine College of Art’s front doors. With their music cranking, they set the mood for the whole street as people bobbed their heads and clapped their hands to the beats.

Their was a guy with an old timey/Back to the Future-esq type of camera set up selling photos.

And their was a “Poet for Hire” set up with a type-writer, a chair, and a desk cranking out excellent, per-order poems left and right. I ordered one, which is featured below, as I was receiving the finished product the woman in front of me was moved to tears as she read hers.

Check out the photos and video of the dancers:

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Here’s the poem that the poet for hire wrote for me:

can i take a picture

is part of my daily song

intact and expected as a refrain

(thats the chorus) where i smile

and continue to slap the ribbon

with these old drop forged

steel keys, and say of course

and yes, or sure

i am a street poet after all so

i am by nature eager to please


Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.