Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What She Is (Original Draft of Poem, 1993)

It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I started writing on a regular basis. Most of that writing was poems and most of those poems were about girls I met at BC. When that poetry didn’t get me the results I wanted, I started to look for other subjects to write about. Having just beat cancer, I thought I would write a poem that personified my disease and capture my experience. This is what I came up with:

This poem appeared in my first poetry book Poems from a Tragic Comic (cover design by my sister, Carolyn!) and my most recent volume of poetry, Episode IV Play. It didn’t change much from my original draft, but here is the latest version that I published:

What She Is

First time I felt her,

I knew she was trouble,

Without my knowing

She was under my skin,

I was seeing double

With her

Literally on my mind.

My brain hurt so much,

Thinking about her,

She grew on me

So, so fast.

Our of control,

I needed drugs to stop this.

Alcohol, cocaine, even LSD

Not strong enough to

Get her off my brain.

VP16, carboplatin, bleomycin,

Dr. Love’s orders to rid me of this-

A case of infatuation so strong

I lost my hair over her.

An obsession so rooted,

She owned part of my mind.

Family, friends, and drugs

Did the trick,

With the hope she’ll

Never come back…

…She won’t.

She can strike anyone at anytime

Because of what she is:

She’s anything but benign,

Even though she’s gone,

For good, I will

Never forget her

And the lessons she

Taught me…

Look for my 5th (holy crap!) book of poetry coming out in the next few months…

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