Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poetic 3 for Walk Poem--Rayhan Blankinship

As I walked, I paid attention to the way the action of walking depended on rhythm, and was guided by rhythm. Footsteps carry with them a mood and musicality. They create a beat, as each step effectively beats or pounds the ground. Although an inner music controlled my pace, I did find that my way of walking was affected by external factors. I became infatuated by the intersection of movement and memory, especially in how they relate dance. Although there is this association with club dance or social dance, I was thinking more about the daily dance of living.

Walking outside, I feel as though I am in the world, and that I am meeting it. It gives me different faces on different days. For me, walking has always been a means of escape, from both myself and from other people. In this way it is therapeutic, and my mind has the freedom to meander, even if I am traveling to a predetermined destination. In fact, there is a certain thrill that I associate with walking, because I am moving myself from one place to another, and where I end up depends on where I choose to go. In someone else’s car, you are their captive. Even if you are driving, you must obey certain laws, or else end up in a dangerous situation. Also, you are still confined from the world by a physical barrier. I have always also used walking as a way to clear my head. Indoors, I begin to feel confined. Once I have turned off my cell phone, and am out walking by myself, I feel truly free. I enjoy the feeling of knowing that no one I know really knows where I am, and that I could get on a bus to Mexico if I so decided. In this state, where I know that I am alone, even if I am on a subway surrounded by people, my body rejoices in being itself.

Walking past certain physical markers triggers specific memories, and so I wrote this poem with two things in mind: first, the aforementioned physicality and rhythm of walking, and second, the notion of meandering through my own memory—the memory associated with walking. Sometimes these memories involved walking companions. In transcribing these memories into a poem, I chose to pay more attention to how the memories became word imagery, separate from the image of the actual memory. Instead of trying to convey the specific sequences and details of the memory, I wrote them into transformation. I also associate observation with walking. As I walk, I observe the weather and the world as some sort of art gallery. An open space, it still feels totally contained and enclosed, expecting to be traversed, and yet waiting around for no one.

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