“Where We’re From”: A poem by many authors

We wrote a poem. And we created an image to go with it (below). We are from this year of writing; we are what you see. In essence then, we created text to say where we are from and images to show who we are. Is that a fair assessment of our work together?

I love it no matter what we call it.

The below image a compilation of photographs, art, and graphics we each chose to share for this project–to accompany the poem. We’ve named this our “Influence Map” because we’ve really been all about the journey this year–the textual, the virtual, the digital, the visual, the actual journey. And we’ve learned that maps come in many different forms and lead to many different journeys. Rhetoricians create maps when creating texts… to lead readers on textual journeys. Artists create journeys for viewers to take. Performers take the audience on a journey with them. And we made maps of many different kinds this year. Thank you to all the Cartographers, in Honors Comp classes at OCU and AUM, for this beautiful work.

Our “Influence Map”!

Please see our poem and map together at Writing Together in Honors. With many thanks to Adorable Angst who put the finishing touches on this collaborative work.


My poetic self linked to the world: An experiment in hyperlinking

Modern Me

I am from Hot Wheels, from literary action figures (like Dickens and Poe and Austen), and Star Trek–always Star Trek, everything Star Trek.

I am from Hires Root Beer and Bubble Up: special treats from my Auntie and my Na—always ice cold and tickling our noses on hot summer days in the garden or by the pool.

I am from Looney Tunes and I Love Lucy 
and the World Series.

I am from the Mary Tyler Moore show and M*A*S*H (the novel), from Winston cigarettes, from “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” and from “How do you spell relief?”

I am from the LA Times 
and the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Idaho Statesman I read for years with a dear friend–sharing the paper each morning over coffee.

From family values and the exact opposite of that.

I’m from the Mediterranean from boats, mountains,
 rocks, and scallops.

I am from the Macaroni Grill, writing on table paper while eating shrimp with pasta, spinach, garlic butter, and pine nuts—and Brooke eating teriyaki salmon.

From the entire run of Farscape I watched in one month because a friend said I’d like it, and I did. Totally.

I am from metal and Frank Sinatra and “Higher Ground” and “Casey Jones” and “Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy?

I am from LPs and 8-tracks and cassettes and CDs and digital music and blasting song after song while I write—two ways: loud and louder.

I am from open and good and wild and sugar and restraint and fear, from kind and hungry and art with black ink on white paper. I am from and for Open. I am open. Always open. Always looking at the view, always in the clouds even before the cloud was someplace we could store our information, our lives.

I am about three ways the game can go: you can win, you can lose, or it can rain.

I am from the hero’s journey and baseball and mythology and the travel, not the destination.


What surprised me through this experiment was how easy it was to decide which things to link and which things I didn’t care about so much, though I would still say they define me.

For instance, I really liked Hires Root Beer much more than Bubble Up, so that was an easy decision. When it came to my literary taste and action figures–I’m teaching a class on Charles Dickens right now, so he was the first for me of the three named above.

I also found that I was partly defining myself in how I “named” each link, too. One example is the link with “Mediterranean” and the web site for tourism in Greece. I have always wanted to go to Greece, and when I think of the Mediterranean Sea and all the many bordering countries, I think of Greece, so I created that link and said why. I never thought of doing that before… I sort of took an additional step in making that line of the poem self-reflective, and perhaps, giving a reader some intriguing and/or deeper insight into what’s important to me.

Where we come from…

Last fall we wrote about where we came from… We’ll add in poetic selves for the new folks over the next couple of weeks (we’ll also be getting all our blogs up and running–see the Blogroll to the right for an updated list of the AUM student blogs and Dr. Hessler’s blog, Topographia).

Welcome to the spring term of Honors Comp II–to all the students (here and at OCU). This will be such fun. Write on.

Maybe at some point, later in the spring, we should write poetic self-portraits with a template that deals with “where we want to go” sort of kind of in keeping with visual rhetoric, mapping… What do you think?

Gym Shorts and Cowboy Boots

Ignite the Underground

Ink Paper Pen

Ink Slingerette

Ink String Writing

Peace, Love, Rock & Roll

Writing Art Life

Writing All Year