For Those Who Can Ride in an Airplane For the First Time – Anis Mojgani
Short version (Def Poetry):
“I’m twenty-eight years old and trying to figure out most days what being a man means.
I don’t drink, fight or fuck but these days I find myself wanting to do all three.
I don’t really have a favorite color anymore, but I did when I was a kid.
And back then that color was blue, and back then I wanted to be an astronaut, an artist, an architect, a secret agent, a ranger for the World Wildlife Fund, and a hobo.
When I was six years old I used to always throw my clothes into my blue and yellow hot wheels car carrying suitcase and run away to beneath the dining room table.
I’ve made out with more girls than I wish I’d had and not nearly as many as I’d like to.
And I’ve been in love three times so I doubt I’m going to try that anymore.
And I spend most days making pictures or thinking about making pictures or masturbating or thinking about masturbating.
And I’m trying to find God everywhere and figure this thing he made called a man.
And the TV tells me its bare-knuckled bombing, so I guess if I had a tank or a missile my penis would be huge.
And thats what I want because thats what being a man means or at least thats what they keep telling me.
My pops, he takes care of us.
He puts the garbage out twice a week.
He drives forty-five minutes to water flowers.
I sit on the bus when a seven year-old boy sits down next to me and asks me my name.
“Anis.” That’s a nice name.
“Thank you, what’s yours?” Quentin.
Anis, do you want to read Robin Hood with me?
So tell me what my fists are writing, Mr. President.
My fingers, they open up like gates when I type and the wind is swinging in the wake, mother fucker.
I lift bridges with poems and forests grow in my mother’s eyes.
“I am looking for God, Quentin.”
“While this world says “fuck you” for trying.
For this world hates your eyes, Quentin.
For they are simple and pure.
And this world hates your fingers, Quentin, little like the stems of flowers.
For not being able to pick up the things you have left behind, because you are still learning to do so.
I don’t drink, fight, or fuck but these days it’s only two out of those three I don’t do, Quentin.
And I fall in love three times, so I don’t want to, want to, but I still do, Quentin.
And I want to find God in the morning, in the tired hands of dusk.
But, instead, I drive sixty through residential streets praying to hit a child so that they may stay forever night and forever red and forever full of light and crayons and simple outstretched limbs…
..Trying to pick up way too much way too fast, forgetting what it means to be a person.
In a world where egos are measured with tabloids, where automobiles are like morals, where beliefs are like naps, you leave them behind when somebody touches you.
And in a place where oil takes precedence over life, I find myself sitting on a bus, when a little boy floats down like fresh water, carrying a book I used to read and asks if I want to see what he sees if only for a little while.
Then asks if I want to give to him what I see if only for a little while, then says to me he’s going to show me the world.
And starts moving his fingers beneath the words, not always noticing what is written, sometimes skipping whole sentences, sometimes skipping whole lines…
…because his fingers are moving fast and I wanna tell him, “Slow down, Quentin.
You can see it all if your finger whispers on one word.
Slow down and hold what you see just a little bit longer.”
For in a world of fast faces, I’m looking for God everywhere, trying to figure out a little better this little thing he made called a man.”