My first chapbook was a self-published one that I did back in the 1990s when I was living in Portland, Oregon: Untitled and other poems. This was back in the days when writers with friends at Kinko's went there late at night to basically run off a modest batch of copies — let's say 100 or thereabouts — for free. It was also a time when a homemade, hand-stapled assemblage of verse could get you some coverage in the local papers... and even lead to a deal with an independent publisher (if you were very lucky). This particular poem from that early collection was one of a handful that I decided to send out this year to those limited publications open to reprints.
Missing the boat
Another day she sends another postcard or an empty envelope by mail as if her signature and a hastily scribbled heart could signify her current past. These mild
photographs gloss over those evasive truths she might be finding in the graffiti scrawled upon the crumbling walls of her youth: the cat after cat at the children’s hospital.
Cancer or adolescence staved off the sentimental. Now she can ask in how many foreign tongues hollow questions albeit quite Eternal. A doctor replaced her eggs with a medical sponge.
That incident marked the end of the life of the girl. This woman’s booked on a flight of riches outpacing the answer that follow in this: her bewildered world. Soon she’ll be losing her feet and her face and
her lovers as each gets snagged in trap after tourist trap. A dreamer perhaps. Well, she naps.
Previously published in Untitled and other poems (1995) then republished in Eunoia Review (June 25, 2023). Accompanying image is a composite of a public domain representation of the German flag and a desaturated, stretched-out version of a photograph of a rowboat by Tom a.k.a. analogicus.