He said, “Wow, you’re the same old hopeful person.”
I said “Yes, and somewhat dyslexic.
I’m a Samo Hopien”
This short poem doubles as a bad joke. Appropriately so, my dyslexia is in tandem with the double vision of punning. I did not fully realize my dyslexic tendencies, until my son was diagnosed with mild dyslexia. Looking back over my life, I realized that I had the same tendencies. I had substantial difficulty learning to read. I found scholastic mathematics vexing, but I could calculate numbers nimbly in my head. I still can’t look at a phone number, walk five feet to a phone and reliably dial the number. This insight into a perceptual askewness explains a lot. I think that I literally see things differently than most others. I think that this jumbling of perceptions extends beyond the mere intake of data into my thought processes. I have successfully learned to cope with this mild disability. However, along the way, I think that I have developed a great gift: creativity in general, and punning specifically. Creativity is most fundamentally combining a wide range of configurations of stuff and ideas. My mind has little choice but to cope with this jumbled process of fumbling, sorting and making sense, finding meaning(s). This has developed and honed my punning abilities over decades of practice. Also in tandem with my punning is a terminal hopefulness. This hope may also spring more robustly from an involuntary exposure to an abundance of possibilities catalyzed by mildly dyslexic tendencies. We are not stuck in chaos or cruelty. As Gandhi revealed so simply and so elegantly, “Peace is possible.” This hope, which energizes my work for justice, is the capstone of my persona as Top Pun. Out of apparent chaos rises a deeply hopeful integrity and a semantic jujitsu rarely matched in the service of social justice. Take that you disability so miled!