Amazon Products

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wheelchair Philosophy #1: I'm different, so is everybody. (Section 2)

When I first wrote the poem in my previous post, (Click here to read Section 1.) the year was 2006: I had just returned from a poetry reading by poet and actor Saul Williams at the State University of New York at New Paltz where I had recently enrolled at the slighly further ripened age of 24. I went back to my dorm with William's words smacked across my ears steadly making a home inside them. He spoke with such a blatent, boisterous and yet learned ferocity -- an earthy, visceral, and instantaneous spiritual force that just about two weeks after hearing it, inspired me to write "Perpetual Motion." It's the type phenomenon that many artists I've met describe in nearly the same way. It's as if God put the words in you -- as if they possessed  your soul minus the spitting up pea soup bit. In that moment, mountains move from here to there and nothing is impossible (at least such was the case for me in those first 30 to 60 minutes  that I started writing).

This poem was different. It had a percussion and kick to its free verse rhyme scheme with each successive word punching the page. But this was not the type of punching begets road rage at a busy inter section in Omaha, Nebraska, but the make and model you get from doing the exact opposite thing. It's a peaceful, repose-filling voice that says quietly yet distinctly, "Be still and know that I am in control." Within a few days I had finished what would remain 90% the same five years later.

I took it to my Poetry group at my college and read it part nervous and part as evangelicals term it, filled with the Spirit. The paper shook in my hand a bit As I started to read from it.I gripped it firmly as my tone grew in ferocity. I felt myself inexplicably running out of breath slightly as if I were running from a demon in a spiritual 5K.  But by the time I was finished reading, my fellow poets looked at me as if I were Jesus on the Mount  after his sermon.. I didn't know what to make of their reactions. But I knew in my heart it was the greatest thing I had ever written, yet I had zero ego about it -- it was too good for me to have written it. It was so well received that deep friendships have since grown out of just that one piece. I was most aware of this after seeing a  comment young girl on who told me that the poem was going to be found one day after I'm long passed away and studied by English Lit students as one of my great unpublished works. Comments like this along with hearing things like, "Easily one of the best things I've read in my life..."
are more validation then any worldly riches could ever give me.

When the subject of the poem first came to me I wanted to write something about how I felt/feel my Cerebral Palsy defined who I  am and that I was was shaped by it in almost every way a person can be: in my social hellos with the most random of classroom and nightclub observers to dealing with the quite literally overzealous evangelical Christian who insists my disability is a covertly and unmitigatedly  insidious plot by Satan and his minions to keep me from my divine destiny. To me it was quite the contrary situation -- one that is brought to light by Jesus in John 9:3 when he insists that the work of God is shown by way of a particular blind man's impairment ala  Stevie Wonder. It is a philosophy I've carried with me for almost two decades. By most accounts, the piece did its job.

As of this writing, "Perpetual Motion" is not in print offline. However, this post has given my an idea that could change that fact... stay tuned and roll on!

No comments:

Post a Comment