We’re just thrilled to present the first grouping of Action Shots from Issue 49, a three-poem series brought to us by James Tadd Adcox. The first piece is worn here by Operative Afra al-Mussawir in Austin, TX (with commentary by the operative!):
If you stare at a wheelchair long enough, will it become a small bird?
If you stare at a woman in a wheelchair long enough, will she become nameless and comforting?
…where the poem sparked an unexpected and bewildering debate as to whether it was really possible for a bird to remain nameless for long. I got a few “Oh, I like that” and “Yeah, I saw that–what’s that all about?” responses.
Group lunch at the BBQ place after working out. The guy behind the register didn’t see the poem until I turned around to model it for him. His response was: “Yeah, I like that.” The people on line behind me didn’t comment; I think they were too hungry to appreciate The Scientific Method.
I played chess with my friend Victor in this coffee shop, and after he finished squashing me like a bug, I waited outside for my ride home. A café employee bussing tables outside asked me, “So, who won?” I distracted him by pointing out the poem. “I like that,” he said. “About the bird. I like that.” Then he agreed to take a pic featuring the poem and the coffee shop storefront.
I think sometimes Austinites try too hard.
When I asked the cashier at a department store if he wanted to see the poem on my back, the lady behind me on line piped up. “I read it!” she said. “It’s good,” she assured the cashier.
It turns out Toy Joy is moving to a downtown location – NOOOOOO!!! I caught them just as they were moving some last items, the hand chairs being the last to get loaded onto to the truck. Total transformation I can handle – even turning into a bird – but moving downtown? I’m gonna miss those chairs. Oh, and the plastic Godzillas in the window display.
At the Persian restaurant. I think probably the belly dancer was twirling too fast to catch the poem, but my friend’s cousin took a pic of it for herself. See, I was right: no one can appreciate poetry until after they’ve eaten.
Breakfast at the Texas French Bread down the block from the old Toy Joy. No one commented on the poem. Adults are not supposed to stare at people in wheelchairs. I wished they would so that I could fly off in a flurry of feathers.*
*No birds were harmed in the making of this photoessay, but brisket was consumed with gusto.