I was Born with Water on the Brain

In my multimedia, I created a found poem. I tried to make it resemble the book cover of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which is also the book the poem is about. You can compare my poem to the actual cover below. It describes the protagonist, Arnold Spirit—or Junior, as everyone calls him— when he was younger.

Junior was not exactly the healthiest baby in the world when he was born. In addition to being born with a brain that did not function well, he also had too many teeth. His vision was also damaged due to the brain damage, so he had to wear thick spectacles at a very young age. Along with that, he also had serious seizures as a child. “But the thing was, I was having those seizures because I already had brain damage, so I was reopening wounds each time I seized. Yep, whenever I had a seizure, I was damaging my damage.” (Alexie, 3) Junior was skinny, but with big hands and feet that was not proportionate to the rest of his body. His head was also larger than average, and many kids liked to make fun of it. “Some kids called me Orbit. And other kids just called me Globe. The bullies would pick me up, spin me in circles, put their finger down on my skull, and say, ‘I want to go there.’” (3) In addition to that, he would also get bullied constantly because of his lisp. “And if you’re fourteen years old, like me, and you’re still stuttering and lisping, then you become the biggest retard in the world.” (4).

The one thing Junior enjoyed was drawing. More specifically, cartoons. He believed that drawing was a way of communicating with the world. Regardless of what language someone speaks, they will all understand. Art, including music and performance, is universal. In addition to that, Junior wishes to be rich and famous to rise up from the life of poverty he currently lives in. “Almost all of the rich and famous brown people are artists. They’re singers and actors and writers and dancers and directors and poets.” (5)


  • “I was born with water on the brain.” (1)
  • “My thinking and breathing and living engine slowed down and flooded.” (1)
  • “My brain was drowning in grease.” (2)
  • “I ended up having forty-two teeth.” (2)
  • “Ten more than usual. Ten more than normal. Ten teeth past human.” (2)
  • “I started wearing glasses when I was three. Like a three-year-old Indian grandpa.” (3)
  • “I draw all the time.” (5)
  • “I draw because words are too unpredictable. I draw because words are too limited.” (5)
  • “I draw because I want to talk to the world. And I want the world to pay attention to me.” (6)

Book cover for comparison:

Website Used:


Photo Citations:

  • “17.5’ Inch Indian Warrior Indio Wolf North Native American Statue Figure Figurine.” Amazon, Amazon, www.amazon.com/Indian-Warrior-Native-American-Figurine/dp/B00EJ3BH8S.
  • “9.5 Inch Cold Cast Bronze Native American Indian Riding Horse Statue – Southwestern – Decorative Objects And Figurines – by StealStreet.” Houzz, www.houzz.com/photos/12528087/95-Inch-Cold-Cast-Bronze-Native-American-Indian-Riding-Horse-Statue-contemporary-decorative-objects-and-figurines.
  • Gorman, Kayla. “And Then There Were None.” On Indian Figurines, 1 Jan. 1970, andthentherewerenoneagathachristie.blogspot.com/2010/04/on-indian-figurines.html.
  • “Indian Chief | Hobby Lobby | 216226.” Hobby Lobby, www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Hobbies-Collecting/Diorama-Figurines/Indian-Chief/p/39637.
  • “Indian Figures.” EBay, www.ebay.com/bhp/indian-figures.
  • http://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/c9e1c8b7037fb0c0_4-4458/contemporary-decorative-objects-and-figurines.jpg (EasyBib couldn’t create a citation)
  • https://www.amazon.com/Absolutely-True-Diary-Part-Time-Indian/dp/0316013692 (EasyBib couldn’t create a citation)
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