When Mikaius and I started going out, one of the first things we shared with each other was our favourite poets and poems. We would sit in his bed, cuddle under the sheets, and watch video after video of spoken word performances. Ever since that fateful February, this month has been, to me, a period that must be filled with poetry in order to keep my soul warm.
The poem that clung to my gut most deeply with stubborn claws is Come Closer, by Anis Mojgani. This video was one of the first that Mikaius showed me, if I’m not mistaken, and the effect was deep, almost cutting. It is nothing more than a man with a microphone, but the way that he speaks, the way that he moves, the way that his body and his voice become the poem itself is nothing short of hair-raisingly magical. Watch the video first before reading on – it’s four minutes of poetry that you won’t regret having experienced.
my heart was too big for my body so I let it go and i have shaved off so many of my corners that i have felt at home only in a ball bending myself so far backwards that the song of my mother thought I was returning but believe me when I tell you my soul has squeezed into narrow spaces. place your hand beneath your head when you sleep tonight and you may find it there making beauty as we sleep as we dream as we turn over when we turn over in the ground may the ghosts that I have asked answers of do the turning kneading me into crumbs of light and into this thing love thing called life. come into it!
(Excerpt: Come Closer, Anis Mojgani, October 2009 @ NYU for Elephant Electric High Dive Revival)
(Editor’s Note: I’ve edited the excerpt so that it has the date and place of the performance as indicated in the video, in case anyone is wondering which version of Come Closer was cited.)