“Weeping” Willie Lang became a poet literally overnight.
About 14 years ago, Lang was sleeping in his house near Helen”s Kitchen, where the now out-of-work radio talk show host can usually be found drinking coffee and selling poetry.
“I was just lying in bed and God told me to start writing,” Lang recalled. “When I looked down, all the sentences were rhyming. I”ve been writing two or three poems a day ever since.”
That was perhaps the first time in 58-year-old Lang”s life that everything had lined up.
Lang, the oldest of nine children, was born in North Columbus, or “Memphis Town.” He dropped out of high school in the 11th grade and tried to find solace in drugs, alcohol and gambling.
But now, Lang added, he”s “strictly for God.”
“I was on the wrong track until God changed my life,” he continued. “I talk about God a lot. I have spiritual gifts — I write poetry of any kind. Spiritual, mostly, but I”ll write one for almost anything — wedding, graduation, get-well card. It”s a gift that God”s given me.”
Lang said the inspiration for his poems usually comes from “day-to-day stuff.”
“Sometimes someone will just say a word and I”ll write a poem from it,” he said. “Or at church, if I hear something spiritual, I”ll write a poem.”
In that first poem, Lang wrote, “Now, when you see me setting around, and it seems like something”s on my mind, it”s not drugs, women or wine. It”s on how I can serve Jesus Christ better all the time.”
Although Lang, who lives on disability, doesn”t have a set price for one of his custom-made poems, which usually takes about an hour to write, he does accept donations, he said.
“If I had it to do, I could write 10 a day,” Lang said of his poems. “People tell me they know they”re inspired. I don”t put no price on it.”
Lang took his poems on air, hosting a religious talk show for a year about three years ago on WTWG 1050 AM, where he earned the nickname “Weeping Willie.” The show was canned due to a lack of sponsors, but Lang hopes to raise enough money with his poems to restart the show.
“I go around and sell a few to keep me going until I can find a distributor,” he said. “Getting them eventually published is my goal.”
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