My English class is out on the streets recording stream of consciousness podcasts and I’m in Arts & Sciences Room 1-50 drinking Breathe Easy tea and listening to this punk band called Rational Anthem that a heroin addict artist recommended on his blog which I’m reading because my favorite blog Swift Kitche seems to have taken a swollen ankle hiatus and this is what I do when I scroll FB, as well as notice what I’ve noticed before but never chalked up to a trend, which is how many people’s profile photos are them jumping in the air in front of graffiti. We want to be hip, bright, underground, and asymmetric, huh? I feel you.  

I’m sure I pulled a muscle in my lower back because I heard it pop when I was trying to do squat jumps like this skinny kid who is probably ten years younger than me and so I took some herbal pain killers because I don’t like western medicine when I can avoid it not because I’ve researched quote western medicine, but because alternative medicine generally seems more holistic and it’s in vogue now so I roll with it, you know what I mean? 

So last night I sore-throat swallowed some healing stuff, popped my earbuds and set to walking in order to loosen lower lumbar listening to Dr. Toast which is what I always listen to but last night I was more in my own head so I really heard the layers and I started saying words in between the beats like a kid skipping between rain drops except my tongue tripped and stumbled and couldn’t quite keep up, tongue tied behind the breakneck pace of my mind, except I think it’s vice versa, mind lags behind tongue. For free styling, I think you’ve got to have a formed story first and then let your tongue follow, is this making sense? 

I used to listen to hip-hop by this guy named Ryan Kopperud who I went to middle school and high school with and called himself Homeless but I’ve stopped and I don’t know if it’s because he’s fallen off that horse or because I’ve just stopped tuning in. In fact, for a long time, Homeless’ hip hop made me believe I could do it too. Not that he’s elementary, but that he’s slamming about the world his fingers rub up against every day in ways and words that are more relatable than my aunt who when I shared The Alt Dad Diary with her, she asked me to take her off the mailing list. 

Even though I’m tripping up on hip-hop, trying to follow the letters of the alphabet for each new word I use to tell my story, it doesn’t matter. Free styling is like expressive art therapy, which isn’t about setting out to make something and then making it. It’s just about making something – anything. Whatever comes out. Sans forethought or planning or grandiose blueprint.

Which is why my English class is out on the streets recording whatever’s floating around in their college craniums.