Short stories, poetry, haiku, expository and technical non-fiction. Report Cards and observations on writing. This began as my repository of exercises from the "What If?" self-help writers group at AOL. It has become more and less, since leaving AOL.

Saturday, April 1

Poetry Meme: Where I'm From

Where I'm From

I am from the crumbs of Wonder Bread (“Builds Strong Bodies Twelve Ways”), from Smucker's Strawberry Jam and Chunky peanut butter.

I'm from fish sticks, tuna wiggle, hamburgers and hot dogs and raw milk on my oatmeal.

I am from the one bedroom, third story apartment near the Watergate Hotel, love nest of a May-December marriage.

I'm from the “gruesome twosome” then the “terrifying threesome.” Sunday mornings were reserved for “Fight to The Finish” in my father's bed – a hard way to be roused from a much needed rest.

I am from the hemlocks blowing in the breeze, the home of a coven of crows intent on murder. I have granite in my head and cedars in my heart. “Hidebound” is most often transliterated to “rockbound” in my presence.

I come from stern forbears with big noses, from Stuarts and Holts, from Frickes and Dorothy and Samuel B. Morse.

I am from the sailors and artists conjoined in the snow. Welsh men and Irish women, English and French. American Indian and French Canadian.

From an eight years old chef and a hot mama pilot on Capitol Airlines.

I am from Methodist Deacons and lapsed Anglicans. I shun deities and spit religion out on the ground for good with my pacifier.

I'm from Irish mothers, Anglo-Saxons, Alsatians, and Beserkers from Annapolis; I eat the cockroaches of the sea and ooze whiskey from my pores.

I am partly of the man whose shorts filled with petrol. Descendant of Aunt Townsend, who spent a winter in the Maine woods with two small children, burning whole trees for warmth and hacking away at the frozen moose in the shed until May when the maggots got too thick; the nephew of the robber baron of plastic Mouse Houses™ stealing his mother blind in one eye, and the grandson of the saddest nice man in town (“Why can't you be more like HIM?”).

I am from the frozen north, abandoned, if only temporarily, by all who grew here to adulthood; failed steward of the farm, subject to the adoration of Willow the Wunderhund and a dozen cats, give or take the road kill.

I am a survivor ... of strange men with knives in their teeth and guns in their hands, of stranger men in white coats with knives in their hands carving my heartbreak in my open chest, broken and breathless, of dead progenitors and their mates, orphaned late but hating it the same.

I am secure in the love of a Southern Belle with a fiery temper and sharp-toothed tongue who's fond of cuddles. April Fools are we.

I am from a long line who stop with me.

I am ... but I won't be before so long, but not too soon.

I learned about this from Junebugg. She got it from Donna, who swiped it from Cowpie Patty. It started here and that is where you can find the template with instructions on how to do this. And you are most welcome to play along. Please do, and let me know where I can find out where you're from.


Cynthia said...

This is wonderful! Evocative, descriptive, moving, flowing. You hit the nail right on the head here. I may have to try this one.

elleme said...

What an interesting journey you started me on here--through all the Where I'm From's I could find jumping from one link to another. Think I'll take a stab at it myself.

Junebugg said...

My My! You are one complicated, interesting man 8-}
Isn't it wonderful all the things this little exercise brings out about a person, somethings things that you've forgotten, never knew, or tried to forget.

Wonderful writing, glad you played with us.

V said...

Wil, this was great writing.
Thanks for the look inside.

Celeste said...

Wow. I am so glad I've found you again. What an incredible picture you've painted. I love the way you string words and thought together. Just wonderful... ;) C.

Donna said...

I loved this one. H's mine!

alphawoman said...

You are truly a master of words. A poet. I was totally taken with this. It is wonderful.

Donna said...

Hey, I enjoyed doing this so much, I did one from my husband's point of view. Here it is:

Donna said...

Just letting you know that Cliff felt the "Where I'm From" I did for him was right-on. I only had to change a couple of minor things.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting Wil! It's been a great exercise reading others 'Where I'm From' as I think about those things I've forgotten but am reminded of ...

Robbie said...

Lisa directed me here and I'm glad I didn't miss it. This is great! I'm really enjoying everyone's "poems." They are too me anyhow. So inspiring! I haven't felt much like writing but I think this will be just the ticket I need. Thanks!

About Me

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Well past (by at least a decade) the half century mark. One foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel at the rim of the abyss and the view from here is disconcerting. I am a former student, pearl diver, cook, truck driver, firefighter, EMT, CEO, Town Fire Warden, mechanic, oiler, marine engineer and computer whiz bang. Mostly I sleep these days in an aluminum tube. And So It Goes... I waste my time reading blogs and kvetching about the weather, playing with our Schipperke sidekick, Ignatz McGraw and waiting hand by foot upon my wife, the Queen of our Hovel, She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO).