The Poetry in Parkour
Although Parkour and Poetry donâ€™t make the most obvious of bedfellows, writer Tim Sinclair propels us into a world of gravity defying revelry in his latest book Run.
Chief protagonist and social outcast Dee leads the standard small town, rat-on-a-wheel existence until he meets the mysterious Trench. Growing up in France, Trench exposes Dee to a world of Parkour, a world where you can do things you never imagined. A world that everyday life does not encourage. Running and leaping from one platform to the next, it doesnâ€™t take long for Dee to be involved in a far greater race of his own.
â€œI first heard about Parkour eight years ago,â€ explains Sinclair. â€œIt just sounded cool and fun, structured play that grown ups were allowed to do.Â My early understandings had a lot to do with the flashy stuff, the Parkour porn. Itâ€™s just so absurdly photogenic. You take an expert Traceur (Parkour practitioner) and a skilled photographer and you have pure visual excitement.â€
It is had to disagree, with Parkour representing something of a metaphor for not only freedom of the body, but also freedom of the mind. Traceurâ€™s duck and weave through urban environments with a liquid fluidity that is very easy on the eye.
Coming from a primarily poetry background, the Adelaide native Sinclair delivers a read that flows with word play and text shape through the use of Concrete Poetry; a typographical arrangement of words in which the visual elements are as important as the text.
â€œOnce you get to a certain point in the making of a story, you really do start to see the world with a different set of eyes.Â
“What I was hoping to capture in my concrete type poetry was something of the movement, the energy, the shape and excitement of Parkour.Â The one thing that I was really determined not to do in writing this book, was to create a visual poetry that was going to slow down the narrative.â€
As Dee grows more comfortable in his new skin, he opens up the valve capped on his life, allowing more people into his moonlighting world. One of those characters is Jess, a headstrong, analytical, bull-by-the-horns type of girl who has no idea about the ride she is about to embark on.
Although no Traceur, Jess understands exactly what captivates Dee: â€œIf we knew what we were doing, thereâ€™d be no point in doing it. If you get the script at the start of the story youâ€™d just go through life delivering the lines.â€
This was a project Sinclair threw himself into headfirst. Going to Parkour lessons of his own, he confesses to even having the physio bills to prove it.
During his journey he uncovered a respect and love for a form of art and expression that was the metamorphosis of an eventual novel.
â€œParkour is not a team sport,â€ he states. â€œI donâ€™t even consider it a solo sport. Itâ€™s more of a discipline, the mind and the body in the way most martial arts are. Itâ€™s absolutely about determining your own destiny in ways only you are capable of and ways you can only imagine for yourself.â€
â€œThere is self reliance to be learnt, there are life lessons to be learnt, there is great danger and great joy. Traceurâ€™s already have super powers, all you have to do now is throw in a love triangle and youâ€™ve got the plot.â€