Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mike Vallely / Kien 'Donger' Lieu poetry...

I love words. They have always been a part of me. Always loved writing as well as reading amazingly put together stories, poetry, songs.

I started skating in the late 80's and love so much about it. I haven't skated for years due to my poor broken body but it will always be a part of me. Two of my favourite skaters are Mike Vallely and Kien 'Donger' Lieu. They both have such killer styles when it comes to the board. These guys also have the ability to write some amazing poetry, both well constructed and also very meaningful.

Below are two of my all time favourite pieces of writing that happen to be from these guys. The first 'Fear' by Donger, I saw written on his griptape in a skate mag back around 1990. I tore out the photo and still have it somewhere. I also wrote those words down on a piece of paper and have kept it safe all these years. I wrote to Donger and he replied that it was written 4th February, 1990.

The second, from Mike V, I can't remember where it's from but am pretty sure I saw it on a New Deal ad as I also have this on a piece of paper and wrote New Deal 1991 after it. I have a 1990 Transworld with an interview with Mike, photo's and some of his poetry. I got him to sign it years after and have been lucky enough to interview him a couple of times. The first time I asked him if he could possibly recite another piece that was in that Transworld, 'Parrot Girl', if he remembered it. Another one of my all time favourite pieces of writing. We were sitting down at a skate park and I just turned up to see him skate and asked if I could interview him. He was cool with it. Mike has always been so giving of his time. We were chatting, I was soooo nervous. I asked him about the poem, which he recited perfectly. I looked up and didn't even realise a crowd had gathered and were around us everywhere. It meant a great deal to me that day. One of my first interviews, it was with one of my favourite skaters and he recited one of my favourite pieces of writing. Mike V = Legend.

The above photo is Donger by legendary photographer, J. Grant Brittain. Below is from the first interview I did with Mike V where he recited 'Parrot Girl'. He signed it next time I saw him.

The walls! The walls! The walls! The walls I see are confronting me. Looking, staring, they're all I see. Silent but loud, an enormous sight. Employ your mind, grab a hold on it tight! Lights out a feeling rushes your brain. Fear is felt struggling through your veins. Under the covers from fear I hide, into the same darkness, but another side. Lights on, the darkness has seeped away, into the walls for another day. I find my keys and unlock the door. Key one, key two, key three, key four. Through this time I've developed fear, only in mind, far back in the rear. It only comes forth when I call upon its time. Fear is not around you, it's only in your mind.
- Kien 'Donger' Lieu.

Freedom from freedom, will we ever be free? Free from what binds, confines and defines reality. So the question must be put forth - what is the reality in me? It's time to breakdown the walls of tradition, censorship and authority - and set the true self free.
- Mike Vallely. New Deal. 1991.

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