Air Force

June 6, 2014

MDSS Airman expresses self through spoken-word poetry

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airman 1st Class Christopher Malone, 56th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory apprentice, swabs a patient’s arm with alcohol as he prepares to draw her blood May 7 at the 56th Medical Group laboratory. Malone writes and performs spoken-word poetry, a modern form of poetry that is spoken using theatrical expression.

“Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet and so are you.” One might have heard poems similar to this before, but there is another form of poetry gaining popularity amongst youth around the world.

Spoken-word is a form of poetry that expresses thoughts through rhyme, music, dance and theater. For one Airman, it’s a way to express himself and influence the world around him in a positive way.

“Spoken-word is a platform,” said Airman 1st Class Christopher Malone, 56th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory apprentice. “It’s not the poetry you write, put in a book and sell. It’s revolutionary. It’s a movement.”

Spoken-word poetry dates back to ancient Greece when orators used poetry to engage in political debates. It traces its modern roots to the Harlem Renaissance and musicians of the 1960s who used poetry to bring political awareness to the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Malone first began writing poetry as a child. He looked up to his older brother and tried to do everything he did.

“He would write poems to girls and leave them on the computer,” he said. “I would read them and try the same thing. I looked up to him as a role model, so whatever he was doing; I was trying to do the same.”

His love for poetry led him to YouTube, where he discovered spoken-word poetry. From there, he began writing poems with meaning about his experiences and those of others.

“I started looking at YouTube videos online of youth poets and people in my age group and saw people standing up for something they believed and writing about it,” Malone said. “Poets from Chicago were talking about inner city struggles and people from Los Angeles and New York were talking about racism and politics.”

Malone began performing in talent shows during his senior year of high school, and after he graduated, he would go to other high schools and perform. The more he performed, the more he appreciated the art form and saw others liked it too.

“I was under the impression people really didn’t like poetry,” Malone said. “They think it sounds nice, but poetry is underappreciated. From people’s facial expressions, I began to see that people actually liked poetry.”

Malone was raised in a single-parent household and had a hard time growing up with four brothers, often moving from house to house. Through spoken-word, he began to see the world and his struggles from a different perspective.

“Everyone has their own story,” Malone said. “You can’t really say one person has it worse than another. You can, but in that person’s mind, at that moment, they probably think nobody has it worse than them.”

Poetry is a way for Malone to vent and talk about his feelings when nobody else is around. More importantly, it is a platform to make a difference in people’s lives.

“I post videos to my YouTube account and people tell me they really like my poems,” he said. “It’s crazy somebody in another part of the world has gone through the same struggles as me. I thought I was the only one who was feeling like that. If one person can relate to what I’m writing about, then I feel I’ve done a good job.”

Malone performed a piece about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and his leaders liked it so much, he was asked to perform it at the group and wing levels. Eventually he was asked to record it with music.

If approved, his spoken-word presentation will be sent to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force to see.

Airman 1st Class Austin Shrewsbury, 56th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory apprentice, played guitar for Malone’s presentation and has since acquired a new-found appreciation for Malone’s poetry and spoken-word.

“The first time he told me he did spoken-word, I thought, ‘That’s kind of lame,’ so I just dismissed it altogether,” Shrewsbury said. “He then told me he had videos on YouTube, so I looked it up and saw it wasn’t just words. I could see the emotion in his poetry. Watching him, it’s like he’s in another world, and you get to glimpse it. It’s awesome.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
MXG_SA

Keeping things purring …

FROM LEFT: Senior Airmen Greg Sarabia and Nick Valentine, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman, replace a boost pump Oct. 30 on a self-generating nitrogen servicing cart at Luke Air Force Ba...
 
 

Air Force News – November 21, 2014

Alaska Pope Francis has appointed Chaplain (Maj.) Chad Zielinski, the 354th Fighter Wing deputy wing chaplain, as the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska. Zielinski is scheduled to be ordained Dec. 15 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Japan Personnel from the Japan Self Defense Force teamed with the 33rd Rescue Squadron...
 
 

People First – November 21, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services.  DOD, AF nuclear force reviews consistent with force improvement efforts The secretary of defense recently announced the result...
 

 
Senior Airmen Grace Lee

Thunderbolts celebrate wingman day

Senior Airmen Grace Lee Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, shoots a basket Nov. 7 in the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Luke commanders went up against the Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns basketbal...
 
 
Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.

Enlistment highlights total force

Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr. The 944th Fighter Wing’s newest recruits stand next to a new F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter and raised their hands to enlist into the Air Force Reserve during a “Total Force” mass enlistm...
 
 

AFRC CC, CCC visit 944th …

Lt. Gen. James Jackson, back right, Air Force Reserve Command commander and Chief Master Sgt. Cameron Kirksey, AFRC command chief, listen to the heartbeat of the Laerdal 3G Simulation Manikin while Tech. Sgt. Tymmothy Roy, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron Air Reserve Technician health services manager, demonstrates its capabilities Nov. 6 during a tour of the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin