Tuesday, September 28, 2004


This is a challenge to myself: to write some manner of poem in this blog post window before class starts in thirty minutes. No guarantee of quality.


The wren-faced girl who dreamed her name
in dense doodle-script while June sun
melted our last learning away. Sixth grade
and the little grace I had, a scrap,
a crumb, already lifting away
from me like blotted ink. The crude diamond
where we played ball at dawn
and the dew soaked our socks
and shoes. The shoes that were sheared
from my feet, the hideous
yellow shorts and shirt
scissored down their middles to reveal mine--
and the bag in which each
ruined bit was given to my mother
where she waited
in chilled hospital air.
The dead blonde hair
of my cousin, dragged
drunken beneath a truck
the length of two football fields.
Virginia Legg, teacher of science,
her whole body shrunken like an arcane skull:
believer in UFO's, in green men
who swam around her
in alien swarms, in the ether of other,
and her grandaughter
born with osteogenesis imperfecta,
so fragile she was carried
through her life on pink pillows like a ring.
The same turn missed
every time. The song sang, smiling, in reverse.


Charles said...

I've been meaning to tell you in the most non-threatening, homo-to-hetero way possible that your author photo from your book (reprinted in your blog) is pretty damn foxy and marquee-idol worthy.

Paul said...

Haha, thanks for that carefully prefaced compliment. The great thing about that photo is it's not some glamour photography thing. That's me at the Sewannee Writers Conference, about half an hour from here, visiting a friend who was attending it. So I'm sitting outside in 90-degree weather in August. A good photographer can perform magic, I guess.

Persephone said...

They can, indeed, perform magic -- you've seen *my* picture. :-) Somehow, though, I suspect your photog was just working with good raw material.