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TWISTING SIGNS: “Sakinah and the Bus” Appears in Counterexample Poetics—March 2013

March 15, 2013

Every journey starts with a sign. The placards at the front of a bus tells us in ALL CAPS: “what we CANNOT DO.”

"TWISTING SIGNS #1" © Jamez Chang

“TWISTING SIGNS #1” © Jamez Chang

But what about what we can and should do? My friend Sakinah Hofler just got accepted into three prestigious MFA programs for creative writing. She’ll soon go on to master her craft, write novels, poems, essays; she’ll probably teach some.

"Journey Begins" © Jamez Chang

“Journey Begins” © Jamez Chang

She might win a Spelling Bee.

"Bee Line Meets Caravan" © Jamez Chang

“Bee Line Meets Caravan” © Jamez Chang

When someone follows their dreams, the world celebrates, because another placard has been altered. A cubicle or wall-chain loosens routine, and the sky opens up.

"Motion" © Jamez Chang

“Motion” © Jamez Chang

This poem & photo montage is dedicated to a talented writer who has “worked the journey,” is in the midst of achieving her dream; I’m lucky enough to have read Sakinah’s work, and when she decides it’s time to put her stories in motion, I’m predicting a SILENT WHITE: that hushed look when readers turn the pages, taken to flight.

"Flight " © Jamez Chang

“Flight ” © Jamez Chang

Congratulations, Ms. Hofler. Your Writers Studio friends & No MAPs colleagues wish you the best!

Publication Notes: Sakinah and the Bus” is a poem that uses only the words and punctuation displayed on the placards. No repeats. If there’s one comma, but you need two—tough. The point is to use what’s around us, even when it sings the turgid tune of the banal: regulatory language. Beauty is everywhere; and it’s just waiting to be subverted. Special thanks to distinguished poet Felino A. Soriano, Editor of  Counterexample Poetics for his feedback and support.

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7 Comments
  1. You have a great spirit Sakinah, and I wish you the best upon this journey, make starlight of words, and galaxy of pages, and shine, shine on!

    Well said Jamez, a true friend, and man of magic verse and song.

  2. Hey, Sakinah, congrats x3! This is your time, go for it!
    And thanks, Jamez, for holding up the lantern on the road.

  3. Lilian permalink

    Congrats Sakinah!

    And I love how the promise of another future brightened, combined with the mundane of our everyday life makes this a powerful piece of art to shine on through the black holes of time, Jamez with a Z.

  4. Kevin Singer permalink

    That was FUN. And the intro here was as entertaining

  5. Stewart Clarke permalink

    Very nice, Jamez, and congratulations to Sakinah!

  6. Sakinah permalink

    Aww Jamez!!! I’m touched! *tears* Thank you everyone else for the well wishes. I’ve been writing for nearly 6 years and my writing has grown exponentially in the last year in a half thanks to No MAPs and my extended WS family!!!!

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  1. Whirling Metaphysics (Track #4 of Lit Hop): An Artistic Process in Pictures—December 2013 | jamez chang

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