treat this as fiction

In my writing group we have this 'rule' when giving feedback where we address the narrator of our stories as someone we don't know, even if it's in the first person. Sometimes it trips me up, but in the end it's always nicer to hear feedback in a more objective way, even when we know the voice is that of the person reading it. Is that confusing? Well Chris probably says it best when he tells people in his writing classes 'remember to treat this as a piece of fiction and not a personal essay'. Below is a piece I wrote recently and while I'm pretty happy with it I really hesitated to put it up here, it's poetry and I always feel bad about people reading this who may not want to read my poetry. Another one of my of my favorite things I've heard recently was an old interview with Donald Hall, he was talking about his wife dying of cancer and the poetry he wrote during that time in his life. He said 'It's perfectly OK to lie in poetry, except this isn't a lie'. I loved that, because you really never know what's true and what's not in poems and we all take some serious license when writing them. At least I do... so feel free to treat this one as fiction..oh and laugh too, it's supposed to be funny. ,

I’m tired of this story before it even begins
but here it is again, same plot different setting
instead of beer and whiskey
there was wine and cheap champagne
it was too late on a Sunday night
I should have been getting ready for bed
instead I was sitting in front of a backyard bonfire
my clothes gathering smoke

there was no wood left to burn so we tore up old New Yorkers and fashion magazines, they gave a bright blaze that quickly died
and I should have taken that as some sort of sign
I hit play

rode along as the night blurred to morning
and here I am again
same boy different face
his egg shell skin covered in familiar black and red tattoos
the uneven ink tracing every tragic story
new frame, same wounds

it was a long night with no sleep
and all we shared the next day was tired
I entertained the thought of seeing him again
because I liked him, the way he kissed, the things he said,
the weight of his body curling up against mine

I’ve heard this one before
and I swear my vagina feels like the Statue of Liberty some days
give me your tired,
your broken,
they can rest here
don’t need to pay rent,
bring flowers,
respond to messages
because I get it, get these poor huddled masses broken at my feet
here’s a place to lift your sprits
so you can walk away strong and rested
ready to head for the shore of some other city
while I say, ‘that’s cool- see you around’

Not anymore
I’m closing for repairs
I’m remodeling
the pope is visiting
and I need a new paint job


molly said...

wow. and i'm blown away, again.

Alison said...

i hecka heart this!

jennifer said...

love it-- so glad you put it up!

comfies said...

ha give me your tired, your broken, i love it. it's like vagina-statue-of-liberty-martyrdom...hee

Christina said...

thanks ladies. it wasn't easy to post this one. . xo

Jean said...


Jean said...

By the way, this is my favorite line:
and all we shared the next day was tired