Auld Lang Syne

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

bio in verse

OK, so I think it might be a good thing to put in a bio I wrote for myself, part of which appears in the new book, I Write in the Greenhouse. Awhile back, I thought: why write all these little 50 word bios every time I submit and never do the thing AS a poem? Each publisher wants the 50 words. Oh, I get that. I ask for those too when I accept poems for Pulse, my online literary zine. BUT ...

I am a poet, so why not:

Bio, Schmio

When I was five, alive

in a little body, when I was six

picking up sticks, when I was seven, seventeen

maybe, eighteen, no seventeen, I was a version of me.

When I sat at the kitchen table, tabling

conversations too hard for my parents to accept,

tables like arithmetic were hard

for the me I wanted to be. No bright star shone

over the place I called home as I left,

no one waved good-bye, come again soon,

you’ll always have your room here. No one

but me on that bus, fishbowl in my lap

watching the mama fish eat her babies one by one.

Where did I go then

instead of off into normal?

When I was seventeen, seven, five,

alive meant towing the line,

sitting straight, being seen not heard,

kleenex bobby-pinned to my head

like a hat for church,

rain pounding the windows,

caterpillars raining on the tent at Sebago Lake.

When I was 35, I’d reached my five year old’s goal:

to be 35. What was left? A world of other people

thinking they knew me, thinking they were right

about me, and me thinking the five year old me was still

sitting under a tree on a smooth white sheet

playing teacher, making the dolls write in verse.

No comments:

Post a Comment