The Infinite Cycle

The song “Wurli” on Dominic Fike’s recent album What Could Possibly Go Wrong is a short, but substantial song. The 2 minute 31 second song is about a toxic relationship and the emotions that come with it. The first lines of the song are,

Steppin’ outside for you
Then I put links on both wrists
‘Cause you got control over me

Right from the start of the song, the listener knows that this relationship is not mutually beneficial, or healthy. The concept of the song goes along with Perrine’s idea that purpose of poems are “sometimes to be ugly rather than beautiful” (6). This poem’s focus is on a rather dismal topic, and the first words pack a punch to the reader. The links even have multiple meanings, leaning to the “multiple dimensions” in poetry. Links could be bracelets that he wears to look good for her and not himself. Or it could be Fike alluding himself as a prisoner when stating that he has links, or in this case handcuffs on his wrists. Showing feelings of powerlessness in this toxic romance. Dominic Fike also describes how much one sided effort is put into this relationship,

This is not love, I’m a glorified doorstop
Stickin’ my foot out for you
And that’s not all I would do

These lines show feelings of being unwanted in this dysfunctional relationship. The way that Fike does it emphasizes the fact that this song is a poem, Perrine states that poetry “enlarges our perspectives and breaks down some of the limits we may feel” (4). The song may bring back familiar feelings of being stuck in this toxic cycle, or inform other listeners how it may feel to be in such relationship. Widening the perspectives of the listener much like reading a poem about an unknown topic can do. While Fike is doing all he can to fix things, he is viewed as a measly doorstop. Later in the song he contrasts what he previously said to emphasize that while this relationship is knowingly toxic, it is “sort of like love” so the actions being made will continue, causing them to be stuck in this bad cycle.

This is not done, this is sort of like love
When I’m stickin’ my foot out for you
But it’s not all I would do

The repetition of the lines with the slight change spotlight the idea of how one sided the relationship is, the change in the lyrics show that regardless of these things they will continue to put up with it. Perrine states that poetry is “the most condensed and concentrated form of literature”(8). While Fike could have spent more time and words writing new lines about how while he is aware of the toxicity in the relationship, he still feels and wants this connection. He knew the power of his words, and with switching around the words, it still conveys the message, and produces the same if not an even stronger impact upon the listener. In this 2 minute 31 second song Dominic includes a multitude of emotions and feelings into the lyrics. The way that Fike is aware of his word choice, conveys a strong message in so little words, and brings important ideas to the listeners awareness highlights the fact that “Wurli” is not only a song, but a poem.

Hamid’s Implementation of the Portal Forces Focus on Migrant Mentality

In Exit West, Mohsin Hamid emphasizes the mental struggle of migrants prominently. The idea of a refugee traveling thousands of miles from home, seeking a place to pursue happiness, only to be rejected by those who were there before them. It greatly displays the idea that humans as a species are selfish and unforgiving.  In doing so, he exposes the privilege we all hold from remaining where we are while even more so exposing the damage that migration does to those who bear it. Yet, he intentionally visualizes the internal effects on migrants through the very real story of main character’s Saeed and Nadia.

Hamid incorporates, through the use of doors as portals. Not regular doors, but doors that are a means of escape, a transportation system that simultaneously speeds the story of migration while also slowing down the significance of the journey. However, after encountering the doors time and time again, I began to believe that their purpose held much more than to be seen as a fantasy element. I believe that the doors never did exist, but more so Hamid uses them to take the focus on the story of migration off of migration itself. The physical occurrence of a migration is one thing, but through using the doors as portals, Hamid is able to focus more on the personal effects on Saeed and Nadia. There is more time to focus on how they feel about the strenuous act of migration, mentally, which is what I think the biggest problem is for migrants of the world.

In summary, Hamid addresses how difficult it can be for a refugee to have to leave their home and their family and the life that they are comfortable with. I think by exposing details like this, through the implementation of doors removing the physical aspect of migration, it helps the reader see refugees from a more personal perspective.