I recall awhile back walking down the streets of Chicago
searching for a reason to stop walking. The harvest was upon me as I
walked amongst fallen leaves and dying trees. The surreal atmosphere
and tumbling winds hindering my movements had me seeking a place of
escape. Just then, I felt the urge to stop walking. I looked to my
left and realized I was standing outside a pawnshop.
I walked inside to a murky front room filled with dusty
vinyl, antique toys and abandoned music instruments. They could have
been the tools of Chicago legends; missing artifacts hidden from
museums ready to be found by a young musician seeking the same life
they once lived. I had walked into a time capsule for forgotten love
I approached the clerk at the desk and introduced myself.
Between puffs from a cigarette he told his name was Qwel and he was a
member of the group Typical Cats. I was familiar with his work, but
never put a face to it.
I noticed a rubber duckie sitting next to him and when I
looked at his notebook the title of the poem he was writing said "The
Rubber Duckie Experiment." Curious, I asked what was with the duckie.
He said, " Well the title, the words "rubber duckie" and how
it's pertinent is that I started bugging after Sept. 11 with the
significance and I think it was just a fucked up thing. Everything
like food, the weather, and stress just felt phony to me, like a
rubber duckie. So, I really wanted to do something so pertinent to see
how it would manifest itself. The experiment came from the blues and
how I feel emotionally and I often wonder how words manifest, but I
couldn't really detail it.
Then, I was in a shirt shop in El Paso, it was some Gadzooks