Elevate Difference

40 dayz

Staying true to her moniker Motion, Wendy Braithwaite’s _40 dayz _ takes readers on a fast-paced word journey. Doubling as a spoken word poet and hip-hop artist, it’s no surprise that Motion’s poems are full of a rhythm often unattainable by most poets. The subjects she writes on seem to develop their very own heartbeats—some thunder while others throb slowly.

Of the many subjects Motion covers, a primary topic is, of course, female issues. "Wombstory," a chapter in this collection, includes five poems that examine womanhood. "Blues" transforms the act of sex into a musical experience. Lines like “lips opened/but no sound would come/unless you played me” and “pulled limbs/pitches glistening/in beats/we remember/the fullness of this music” represent the correlation Motion creates between blues music and making love. The poem is one of the best in the collection because it uses such a fresh approach to a played out subject.

Irony is notable in the poem "October," which follows "Blues" and focuses on pregnancy. Utilizing nature imagery, the poem weaves a feeling of regret surrounding said pregnancy, but the unborn child maintains its strength. 

Motion also takes a hearty stab at political issues. "Ownland Security" paints a picture of the accepted paranoia that follows today’s fear of terrorism. With short opposing phrases, Motion illustrates this concept, including images like “black suits/borders” and “finger print/strip search.” "Vet"_ describes the speaker’s encounter with a soldier and assesses his re-acclimation into 'normal' society: “Plastic prosthesis no paralysis of permanence/no dis ability [sic] no checks/something happened there/and I just haven’t been right.” These images convey much to many who may wonder what happens to soldiers when they return home from war.

A final thing that struck me about _40 dayz _ is that, unlike the poetry of some spoken word artists, you can still appreciate Motion’s work just by reading it on the page. While hearing it live would enhance the experience, it’s not essential for readers who want to grasp her messages and marvel at her talent.

Written by: Michelle Tooker, February 16th 2009

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