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Strudel Up a Point Guard, “Jeremy!” is in Apeiron Review—May 2013

May 17, 2013

“Take me back to early February 2012, and I’ll show you a city calling us by our first names.” — Annonymous Chang

“Jeremy Lin: Day Break” © Erie Chang; Original Artwork by Erie Chang

“Jeremy Lin: Day Break” © Erie Chang; Original Artwork by Erie Chang

And he spoke English good too. And he wasn’t Yao Ming. And he cracked jokes about sleeping on teammate Landry Field’s couch. Emotional content—all the things that humanized a J-Lin, a Liu, a Chin, Patel, Yakamura, or Chang. Things I could root for, finally; and he looks sort of me-ish (minus the 6 foot 3).

So where does a Kirkman fit in? Well, when dude gets Malcolm X inked on his back—Isaac, he did that—stays for the Cathy Park Hong Q&A, posts about the ills of human trafficking, keeps a door-candle lit for the Mexican Martyrs, meditates on “Alva’s Wings,” and talks rapper Al Basics into un-retiring, well, damn, you pretty much have the Jeremy Lin of Prose, someone who’s easy to root for—and equally unexpected.

"Jeremy!" by Jamez Chang & Isaac Kirkman Appears in Apeiron Review—Issue 3, May 2013

“Jeremy!” by Jamez Chang & Isaac Kirkman Appears in Apeiron Review—Issue 3, May 2013 (pg. 12)

So strudel up a point guard from Tuscon, Arizona. The tracks lead from Jersey to Desert, and if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that a strong heart so matters these days; means more in this life than all the statues combined. And I’m proud to have collaborated with IMK once again, on a poem we co-wrote up at facebook, via chat, email, rainbow telepathy—sunlight on railz.

Off the bench, toward the end of the movie, the elementary school kids and Mandela say “I am Malcolm X!” as they stand up from their chairs (or is it “Oh Captain, my Captain”? I’m not a Dead Poet, but I twist signs on TV), and for a few months back in 2012, Jeremy Lin of Palo Alto, CA did the same. On the biggest Cathedral stage.

Author Isaac Kirkman reading at Solar Culture

Isaac Kirkman reading at Harvey Burgess’ book launch party at Solar Culture

Check it: My name’s Jamez, over there, he’s Jeremy, above us is Isaac. Twisting signs, perceptions, otherwise. And this poem isn’t just about basketball (as a dozen editors’ form-letters read). Isaac and I have come to pull screens, to extend this metaphor to a 7th game. And for anyone waiting for their chance to play instead of sitting on pine, don’t ever give up. If you write from the heart, they’ll come for the flowers—front row, last chair, Madison Square.

Publication Notes: A shout-out to Eli Cohen, Stewart Clarke, and Kevin Singer for sticking with this poem from the early outset. Drinking past night. An assist to Apeiron editors Meredith Davis and Lisa Andrews for seeing beyond the basketball. They’re starting something special in Pennsylvania, PA, so go check out their entire roster. Share the ball. Finally, my respect goes out to the long-legged one from Internet-Earth, AZ for serving up the eege’s at the hoop for this brother. Collaboration is the new Collaboration, and Coach Clifford‘s about to shout out your name: “Isaac!”

  1. Thank you for all the creativity,photon-poetry, patience, and inspiration!

    • You’re welcome, and it’s always a pleasure to create & collab. Been a real good year thus far!

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