Yue, who is an artist, said she appreciates the uniqueness of each poem.
“It’s like a gift,” she said. “It’s a special sequence of words that he pulls out of the air just for you.”
Vitiello said his journey to street poetry began when he received a gift.
“A relative gave me a fox mascot as a joke and it just made sense,” he said. “The two things have to go together somehow.”
He said he was inspired to create Poetry Fox in order to get out in public and write spontaneous work because he found it engaging.
“I sit with my vintage typewriter and people give me a word,” he said. “I bang out a poem immediately with that word as the title.”
On average, Vitiello writes 80 to 90 poems per sitting, and to date he estimates he has written over one thousand poems.
“It’s an act of generosity,” he said. “It feels really good to just give poems away.”
One of his most memorable poems was written at Duke Hospital.
“A woman asked if she could give me two words and the two words we’re the names of the twins that her daughter just had,” Vitiello said. “One of the children had died during child birth.”
On this occasion, Vitello made an exception to his one-word rule because it seemed like something she needed.
“I don’t know why she sat down at a guy in a fox costume in a moment like that, but I wrote a poem for her with the two names in the piece,” he said. “It was a really moving experience, I’ll never forget it.”