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.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Airmen reach terminal velocity

Courtesy photo Second Lt. Tanya Wren, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Community Relations chief, takes in the expansive view after the chute was pulled at 3,000 feet. Luke Air Force Base Airmen were chosen to tandem jump with ...
 
 

Planning for your future equals success

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” ~ William Arthur Ward Success does not happen accidentally, it takes detailed planning and a vision of the future. I remember the day before I left for basic military training, I tried to imagine what my future...
 
 

Tuition assistance — a great benefit

In my opinion, tuition assistance is one of the best benefits that we as active-duty military members have available. During my 17 years in the Air Force, I have seen this benefit increase from 75 percent of tuition being paid to 100 percent. Additionally, most of us experienced this benefit being eliminated for a short...
 

 
Senior Airman Marcy Copeland

Military children celebrated for courage, resilience

Senior Airman Marcy Copeland Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, signs the Month of the Military Child proclamation April 1 at the Luke Air Force Base Child Development Center. The Month of the Military Child ...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

LOSC The Luke Officers Spouses Club invites spouses of officers to play bingo and have lunch at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Club Five Six. For more information or to RSVP, go to LukeOSCReservations@gmail.com. Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. April 30 in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel...
 
 

Salutes and Awards

Air Force Reserve Command announces major selects The following 944th Fighter Wing captains have been selected for promotion to major: 944th Fighter Wing Christopher Bisdnack 307th Fighter Squadron Jason Gentry 944th Force Support Squadron Derrick Young 944th Medical Squadron Jeffrey Cohen and Craig Lussier 46 graduate ALS class 15-3 The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership...
 




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