New Recruits Episode 12: Aisha Muslim Reads Sachiko Murakami

A new week, a new New Recruits episode. If it’s your first time here, check out Episode 1 for a description of how this series works.

Aisha and I shovelled shit in a barn together for a lot of years. She rode this beautiful white gelding named Leo and I rode a spotty, pudgy quarter horse named Jack. We’ve had many intense discussions in piles of hay and what would be too many adventures to remember if we hadn’t documented most of them on digital cameras:


(Aisha and me in 2007. We were too young to drive the Gator outside, but apparently through the barn was fine.)

Now Aisha is a badass nurse and Muay Thai fighter and it’s been a long time since either of us has been on a horse.

Sachiko Murakami’s book Get Me Out of Here is “an experiment in crowdsourced inspiration.” Its back cover explains, “Why is it so difficult to stay in the present moment? Poet Sachiko Murakami asked this question in an open call on the internet, and in airports across the globe, from YVR (Vancouver) to RKV (Reykjavik), people in transit stopped to note in only one sentence their impressions of places, events and things.”

Here’s Aisha reading the poem inspired by the one sentence impression:

My lawyer wife calling “frantic girl” about bail: “you can tell me what is actually true it’s private,” “break and enter, burglary tool, secrets on your computer.”

Gary Barwin, YTZ-YTM



What was your first impression of the poem?

I liked it. It felt rebellious in nature, as though the poet was trying to prove someone wrong and was adamant that the other person’s position was incorrect.

Which line of the poem do you like best?

“Your own shitty, familiar secrets”


It reminds me that we all have our own demons and we should not judge others for theirs.

What does this poem make you think of?

Being a teenager and being misunderstood (or feeling misunderstood) and trying very hard to make people hear me.

Have you encountered a poem like this before? Is this poem different from what you expected poetry to be like? If so, How?

I haven’t encountered a poem that was so angrily worded before. Most poems I have read (although I haven’t read read many) have been softer and less accusatory. I enjoyed this.

Does this poem remind you of any other piece of art or media?

It reminded me of the Girl on the Train -specifically the line “the frantic girl who articulates….”

Do you have any questions for the poet?


Aisha Muslim is a 23 year old nursing student, graduating this year. She is a competitive Muay Thai fighter. She is Muslim. She has a sister and two cats.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s