Wednesday on the NewsHour: Olympic Poetry

BY Jeffrey Brown  August 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM EDT

Priscila Uppal is a Toronto-based writer and professor at York University whose work includes eight collections of verse. She’s in London these two weeks serving as “Poet in Residence” on behalf of Canadian Athletes Now, a non-profit group supporting Canada’s athletes.

We’ll post our conversation here later Wednesday evening. In the meantime, you can watch her read one of her poems in the video below.

Obsessive Compulsive Cycling Disorder

By Priscila Uppal

My doctor says I don’t need medication,
only a rest from encountering the world as turns and climbs,
labelling my emotions as a series of gears.

You see, for years my obsession was controlled,
maintained by careful pedalling, prudent braking,
sound maneuvering in and out of lanes.

But in order to continually reach that point
of satisfaction where input reaches new output,
the wheels of my mind needed to spin faster

and faster and faster until the circle itself
was merely an image of my inner life.
And the helmet the protector of the circle.

My doctor says we will need to institute
years of cognitive behaviour therapy
to maintain some stable friendships

to get this compulsion under control,
to reroute the direction of my race
so it’s not always further and further down the road.

Visit the website of Canadian Athletes Now to read all of the poems.