Poem: I Am the Pace of My Body and Not Language

By Adam Wolfond Selected by Victoria Chang

Adam Wolfond’s poem is mostly written in declaratives, giving it a sense of confidence. As a nonspeaking autistic artist, prose writer and poet, Wolfond uses language as an invitation to witness and engage where evanescence arises from multiplicity, not uniformity and convention. (Note: The blue line does not correspond with the original text but has been recreated in collaboration with the editors of the magazine.)

I Am the Pace of My Body and Not Language

By Adam Wolfond

I think the days of the week

are paced in the line of rocks

and the water of the ocean

Water talks by pacing waves against them

Rocks respond by allowing their surfaces to be worn

Time is perceived by the appreciation

or language but I am

the pace or my body

and not language

I think there are many times to think about

I want people to understand how hard it is

to always type

My rhythm is long and continuous

not as noises in my head

The noises are forging want

or the howling wind

The noises are in the want

to talk

But I feel the way I always go toward the calm body

Time is perceived by the appreciation

or language but I am

the pace of my body

and not language

and line the rally that I can feel.

Victoria Chang is a poet whose latest book of poems is ”The Trees Witness Everything” (Copper Canyon Press, 2022). Her fifth book of poems, ”Obit” (2020), was named a New York Times Notable Book and a Time Must-Read. Adam Wolfond is the author of ”The Wanting Way” (Milkweed Editions, 2022). He is an autistic poet, an artist, a graduate student and a co-founder/co-director of dis assembly: neurodivergent arts collective.

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