The Smithsonian, the Cross and David Wojnarowicz

I remember the first time I read Wojnarowicz. I picked up a collection of writings on AIDS in a bookstore in New York City. The piece that spoke to me most was called “Spiral”, by David Wojnarowicz, which ends with these haunting words:

“I am standing among all of you waving my invisible arms and hands. I am shouting my invisible words. I am getting so weary. I am growing so tired. I am waving to you from here. I am crawling around looking for the aperture of complete and final emptiness. I am vibrating in isolation among you. I am screaming but it comes out like pieces of clear ice. I am signaling that the volume of all this is too high. I am waving. I am waving my hands. I am disappearing. I am disappearing but not fast enough.”

I memorized this poem as I felt I could learn from Wojnarowicz’s work as I sought to fuse art and religion — both equally important and necessary to me as I tried to make sense of a troubling world. At the time I was attending Judson Baptist Church in the village as a newly interested Christian, and in the following years I began a Masters of Divinity at Union Seminary with Wojnarowicz in my pocket.

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