Posted tagged ‘jigsaw self’

The World According to Them

November 17, 2014


The World According to Them

You asked why I wore myself so thin–
How else was I to squeeze me in
the world according to them?

You asked why I studied up so smart–
‘Cause the tests that mattered didn’t measure heart
in the world according to them.

Then you asked me why I made us cry–
The truth, I said–that I couldn’t defy
the world according to them.

But now that don’t sound good enough–
an answer off the fraying cuff
of the truth according to me–

a truth curl-curved and edged with cut
jigsawed to jam into spots that abut
the world according to them,

for when the cracks cracked and the frame let go,
then all inside me told me so,
that it was only words pouring out from them,

that it was me who, listening, whittled me thin,
me who kept me so tight within
the world according to them.


Here’s a very drafty poem  for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt In Other Words on With Real Toads, to use a variation of a title of a book (in this case, The World According to Garp), as a title for a poem.  I’ve mucked with this one on and off all day changing it dramatically, but improving?  Not so sure.   (The narrator was much more self-pitying, and blaming, in earlier versions, which finally didn’t sit very well with me.) 

For anyone interested, this grew in an extremely discursive way from a narrative I’ve been writing about a country-western singer.  I had modified that prose narrative to use for a prompt, and then woke up with this sing-song instead.  I may post one of the others, though they are really prose pieces.  Who knows!?  Back on the road again tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens.