Note: Marrow Magazine recently published three of my speculative poems! Click here to read them.
Poem from Real Life
Beside me, he slept smelling like spoiled milk
and sweetness. His little face turned to mine
found itself lost in dreams while I snapped covert
pictures. His mother, all dark eyes and mood,
didn't want me to hold him—my cerebral palsy
too unstable for comfort. My nephew kept a proper
six inches from his auntie, tiny chest rising
in bread-dough imitation while mine caved in.
A lot of my poems aren't wholesale from my existence like this one. I wrote it years ago after my brother's ex-spouse told me I was never going to have contact with my nephew other than briefly seeing him his first Christmas. It wasn't just a concern that I'd have a spasm during holding him... I was apparently a bad influence. Thankfully, I can still visit him.
I never considered publishing the poem in a literary journal because it's not a strong enough piece. A firm narrative does not a poem make. The metaphors are weak and repetition exists without furthering rhythm, musicality, or layers. It feels more like a drabble or micro-essay.
How much/often do you incorporate life events into your work?