Corners (Turning Them, Not Working Them)

Most of the poems in my thesis manuscript, I'm noticing as they "age," are not what I thought they were.

Where I thought I was writing autobiographically, I was lying, embellishing, revising, reversing. And so the voice sounds honest but is actually a big fiction.

Where I thought I was being important and political, I was actually being boring.

Where I thought I was being experimental, I was being especially pompous.

Where I thought I was being least relevant, I buried secrets.

* * * * * *

The last poem I wrote for the book was my 11 page collage poem (which I've mentioned before) involving Madonna lyrics, the "Coming Out to Your Parents" link in my links list, some journal entries, and some lyric moments. It's especially all about me and probably the most honest, difficult poem I've written.

After finishing it, I stopped writing for several weeks and when I started again, I noticed: none of the poems are about me, or are in a voice that could be me, or somehow relate to my life.

And I thought, Thank God.


  1. Someone told me that the poems in your first collection read like Paula Cole lyrics.

    Was Beckian sober during the interview? JK. I love her stuff. Not her stuff "down there" but her poetry stuff.

  2. You must have heard that from Cyndi Lauper. Or Dana Gioia—I get them confused a lot.

    The interview with Beckian was a dream! Best 2.5 hours I've spent with a poet ever. I *heart* her.