Remembering Art Beat 2010

I’m planning on closing down my other blog, The Ink Traveler, so I can focus on this one and implement some of the more important focal points, such as reviewing and keeping to the plan of writing daily. And then I found this one post on that other blog, and I realized how ready I am for another Art Beat…

August 29, 2010: Art Beat 2010

Today was one of those days when I really got to thinking about that stereotype of writers and artists being bred in the city, while I – hoping to eventually be at least an established poet, if not an artist and writer as well – was born and raised in small town, out-in-the-cornfields-country, settings. While I went to school in the PHM District, while I traversed the South Bend-Mishawaka area with friends, South Bend and downtown South Bend on their own are something new to me. As I sat in a lawn chair under a tent, as I spoke to aspiring writers searching for communities, as I showed children several feet shorter than I how to use a typewriter to add their thoughts to a long and growing community poem, as I read and took transactions for books by poets I know from the university I am being taught under, I looked up and down a typically very busy street of downtown South Bend, filled with bustling and rushing and honking cars, now filled with people walking along peacefully, absorbing the art scene around them that many – or most – of them never see, never have the time to see, never have the initiative to see unless it is placed so conveniently in front of them. I got to thinking about how beautiful a city would be to me if cars were not allowed. What if everyone who wanted to enter the city simply parked their car in this massive parking lot gating the city, rented a bike and helmet (or walked), and went on their journey through the city? Life would be calmer, safer, friendlier, when we are not so impulsive and loud with our horns and rushes through yellow lights, when we simply take the time to walk and windowshop, to make eye contact with a stranger when walking down the middle of a typically busy and gasoline-vapor-filled street, to smile at the simple scene of a cute dog or a small child asking if she can type another line for the community poem, just one more line. These are the beautiful things I saw today at Art Beat, during my few hours I was there. While it may have taken an hour to find parking, while I stayed behind to take transactions rather than watch my professors read their writing down on another street corner, while lines may have felt a mile long to get a hot dog, there were still possitivities within those negatives, and everything else was beautiful. Art for art’s sake. Art creating the beauty it is always stereotyped to create, and art creating the beauty of human beings walking peacefully amongst each other and taking the time to notice the world around them. Now that, my friends, that is beauty. Until later, Best ~ from me.


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in South Bend, Indiana, where she works as the Departmental Secretary of English and World Language Studies at Indiana University South Bend, and remains closely affiliated with 42 Miles Press, New Issues Poetry and Prose, and Wolfson Press. She previously received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Editor of Poetry for Third Coast. Her poems have appeared in Encore Magazine, Sleet Magazine, Rogue Agent, Thank You for Swallowing, Whale Road Review, The James Franco Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Analecta; and her book reviews have appeared on her website and on The Rumpus. She lives with her husband, their daughter, and three cats. For more, visit View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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