we are other together
A few months ago, I started working with a new student named Amelia Bell. With Amelia I have learned how to go nearly a whole session without talking, as we almost exclusively use the chat function of Zoom to relay our greetings, questions, and excitements. As she is furthermore a purveyor of the lower case, I’ve been trying that out as well, and finding it to be another layer of welcome linguistic humility.
Amelia was brought into my world by Imane Boukalia, much like Imane herself was brought into my world by Adam Wolfond. The friendships that these nonspeaking poets are building on and off the page are a manifold study in kindness, generosity, and mutual support. And that study often finds its exponential form during the monthly Neurolyrical Cafe we co-host with I-ASC.
This past month, Amelia presented a new poem called “we are other together.” As she wrote it, over the course of two sessions, I repeatedly was caught more than a little breathless at its unfolding, brought into the waves of its vulnerable insistence.
I like to think many of us, myself included, have grown more adept at tapping into our own natural courageousnesses over the past year. A poem like this feels like an anchor point, a glimpse at how much further and deeper we can go. No matter how angry or alone we feel, to be “among a song” means that we have an abundance of resources. To be “other together” is a way of harmonizing through the necessary troubles, not eliding difference but leaning into it: winding, diving, seeing, belonging.
I can’t tell you how very grateful I am for a poem like this.
among a wisp,