Analog de Lēon is a moniker I gave myself two years ago when I began writing poetry intentionally, but my real name is Chris Purifoy
. It is an idea that reminds me everyday that I am not a digital being, that we are a lost generation in desperate need of unplugging and being present in our own lives. The name Analog began as a vehicle for anonymity, but it grew into an idea I couldn't stop thinking, one great idea that would eventually give my life purpose.
Silky words have always been my first love, and so I'm also the guy everyone buys journals for on birthdays and for holidays. I love them all. It seems like each time I get a new journal, it ends up framing a period of my life. The ideas from each season nest into its pages, as I process my life one line of verse at a time.
My second love was always technology. The first trademark I owned was, "Plug In." It was the slogan for a music tech startup, but it would also wind up framing a whole decade of my life. Since then, I have always kept my finger on the pulse of the emerging age of information. I saw the Internet as the wild west back in 2007. I saw promise and opportunity firing across the live wires. It was then that I plugged into progress, and for the ten years to follow, I flooded my senses with science and technology. The only thing that kept me grounded were dead poets, speaking to me from their graves, reminding me to never stop reaching and to never forget where I came from.
For most of my 20s I architected technology and launched tech startups. The first was in music, think eHarmony for musicians forming bands, then education, where we advocated for the arts in schools with free learning management tools, then social media books led to big data libraries and content channels. Today, I'm the chief technology officer for the Global Action Platform,
a university business alliance and think tank dedicated to global abundance for food, health and prosperity, in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank. Technology has always excited me. There is a curious magic hidden in the 1s and 0s, that makes the impossible possible.
In 2014, I met my soul mate. I was immediately changed when we collided. Several volumes could be written on this one chapter of my life alone, but I will let it remain unsaid for now. You will find pieces of it in my first book, Vertigo
, and probably many books to come. It was a star crossed love, deeper than the widest ocean. It marked me. She is an ancient temple.
Eventually timing and character would win to love, and all that pure white light collapsed into a black hole. I began writing online anonymously, using the name Analog,
to process my bottled up emotions. I found a support system in the global community of modern poets. I'm very grateful for the people poetry brought into my life.
There was electricity in the air back then, as it was all beginning, everyone in the subculture could feel the potential energy churning all around us just waiting to be focused. I would later help to define the voice of an exciting new underground subculture,
a global community of modern poets born in resistance to a great tide of darkness.
By 2016, my online platform had hundreds of thousands of followers, and I found myself at the center of an existential crisis. I had begun recycling themes to write daily content for my online followers like some machine, and I felt so plugged into progress and technology, that I found myself absent in my own life, absent with the people in my life. I felt like a pariah to my own voice, churning out poems for likes like a charlatan, some digital human robot, a slave to the live wires. I simply couldn't take one step further in the world I found myself in.
-- supernova -
I deleted my social media, unplugged my phone and sought out the white space in my days, where my soul could restore, those moments with the wind that give clarity and guide steps. I became addicted to the space between being and doing, and I found purpose in being present and encouraging others to also make time to be “analog,” even though the world is desperately trying to convince us that we are digital.
It was during this time, unplugged from public poetry and social media, that I found a voice that felt authentic. I found it in the pages of Vertigo
. It felt like a mysterious first dance, half raw intention and half wide-eyed discovery. I chased the muse in every moment. I saw her in the sunlight and the busy streets, I heard her through my earbuds streaming waves of love from Spotify, I felt her in all the seconds and steps and blinks. It felt as if I was passing through a field of art, that covered everything in each moment like a warm blanket. I will never forget it.
Other gifted poets in the subculture, like Gabriel Sage, Fiorella Giordano and Alison Malee, took the Vertigo
journey with me in 2016, and during long editing sessions around the stone fire, hidden in the alley ways of Hollywood & Vine, Vertigo
was brought to life.
As 2016 came to an end, I was fortunate enough to collide with Andrews McMeel, a wonderfully inspiring publisher who gives their artists creative control and has perfected the modern poetry model, with best selling artists like Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav. In February of 2017, we partnered to bring Vertigo
to the world. I am incredibly grateful for their faith in me.
In 2017, Gabriel Sage and I took a trip to Joshua Tree, and while the events of this trip could never be distilled meaningfully into words, the wind blew, and we were present to hear it speak. We learned a lesson about art, about how greatness is an indicator of impact. We learned about Jonathan Swift and his assertion that great art is a reflection of an age, and when we see ourselves in that mirror, we are forced to consider a great new idea. We learned about how art can move a generation, shake us out of immovable thoughts, how a great novel or movie can make impact in a way no other medium or influence can. Our age has never so desperately needed Bob Dylan and Maya Angelou style voices of resistance.
We returned from Joshua Tree with a mission to write the mirror, to be a voice of light for a lost generation where truth has gone the way of alternative facts, where beauty is defined by photoshop and injustice thrives unchecked. We could both feel the weight of some great calling. Great art has purpose.
And so ten years after I plugged in, I find myself standing in resistance to the digital deluge. It's funny how purpose ends up finding us when we let go, when we are finally ready to walk in it. This is the central story you will find in the pages of Vertigo. We can only live after we learn to let go.Vertigo
is the culmination of a ten year journey from Plug in
. It is a story that has been stirring in me for more than a decade about the relationship between love and light, loss and darkness, our humanity and the infinite. Vertigo
is a story about letting go. Order Vertigo
online or buy it in stores everywhere.
“Reach. Never stop reaching.
When you think
there is nothing left to grab,
there is always more.
The universe is infinite
and still unfolding,
and even as you see creation undone,
it is all the while
birthing something new,
-- Analog (My First Poem)