Author of the Queen City Boys books

Who is Ajax?

Where I Am From

I am from cherry blossoms and eternal hope for spring that always comes in its own time.

I am from riot grrrls and evergreen trees as big as you’ll ever see.

I am from fuck your fashion flannel shirt, this is to keep me warm.

I am from Protestant work ethic and self medication.

I am from science fiction and comic books aren’t for girls and screw your preconceptions.

I am from latch key kids and riding your bike miles with no adults around, tree forts and rope swings and how did we live to adulthood?

I am from Buddhism and Astrology, Catholicism and Lutheranism, the Golden Rule and actions speak louder than words.

I am from the train platform, the bus station, the airport, the gas station, the spot where we set out for our next great adventure.

I am from there is a template for this writing exercise and I couldn’t be bothered to read all of it let alone follow it.

I am from the land of high mountains and grey skies, damp chill and long, long summer days, winters where the green never dies.


I am from strawberries my grandfather picked with me after growing them in the soil he tended so well my whole life.

I am from men who build things, fix things and fight for what they believe in.

I am from women stronger and smarter than you, powerfully hard role models to live up to.

I am from places where I only sleep well if I can hear the traffic or the trains.

I am from revolutions, protests and riots, candlelight vigils and memorial marches, hands across America.

I am from an era where being different was king and still I was never the right kind of different.

I am from the edge where punk rock meets pop music and folk music shakes hands with soul.

I am from reading banned books and buying music for minors.

I am from putting aside my loneliness and pain to take time to listen to yours.

I am from white hat hackers and I’ll give you my money but you can keep your DRM.

I am from you can’t have sex on a stack of ereaders but I carry mine with me anyhow.

I am from sisters, both born and made.

I am from snickerdoodles, fattigman and lefse, mashed potatoes better than you’ve ever eaten and hamburgers that might break your teeth.

I am from the Monastery, the Underground, the Off Ramp and the Crocodile.

I am from if I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, in all of history, I pick my mom and my sisters.

I am from music that transports you, transforms you and stays with you forever, even when its meaning changes for you.

I am from broken hearts and dashed dreams and princes who never showed up to rescue me.  Where I am from girls don’t need rescuing anyway, besides you’d just do it wrong.

I am from an artist and a scientist, a carpenter and a cook.

I am from long childhood summer afternoons spent in the dark stock room of a shoe store imagining owning Nikes with every stripe color possible.

I am from if you build it they will come and when they don’t show up just keep building anyway.

I am from the more cousins you have, the more joy you have.

I am from stitching my own clothes for the satisfaction of it and to honor my grandmother every time I lay hand to cloth.

I am from writing poetry you’ll never see, scratching out thousands of words you may never read and never stopping because if I don’t pull this all out of my head it will make me (more) crazy.

I am from promising more than I can ever produce and trying to please you no matter what.

I am from far away, a place I can never show you, a place that no longer exists anywhere but inside me.  My own homeland is lost to me and I never glimpsed the farther away homeland of my ancestors.

©2011 Ajax Bell

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