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Feb. 14 - Autobiography

by Jason Wardell

I cringe when I think of the past.
The pictures from when I was 1
    naked in cowboy boots
The stories of when I was 2
    Hawai'ian waves
    bowling me over
    pulling me under
The false memories of 3
    I played Pac-Man
    without any coins
The anger of being 4
    in moving, preparing
    for school, adapting
    for an expanding family
The gain and loss of friends at 5
    I still haven't
    been to Trinidad
The guilt mounting at 6
    learning to instigate
    never to take blame
    brick cleared the fence
    caterpillars oozing
The lies continuing at 7
    learning how to cheat
    without getting caught
    singing with a church
    I felt no connection to
The varied success of 8
    more singing
    more writing
    more lying
The fights and friends of 9
    I probably said
    something racist
    and hateful got
    what I deserved
The realization at 10
    that I stood among
    giants, meager intelligence
    and meager knowledge led to
    meager motivation
The start of trouble at 11
    nothing that dramatic
    I started playing games
    and spent all my money
    on Magic: the Gathering
The distance of 1000 miles at 12
    and I was in Denver
    suddenly and alone
The continued trouble at 13
    few friends, few
    enemies, few family
    members, many hours
    between the chair and
    the computer monitor
The distance of 15 miles at 14
    and I was in Lakewood
    with new friends, new
    enemies, same family
    but renewed hobbies
The troubles expanded at 15
    card
    video
    board
    role-playing
    yeah, that's me
The freedom of 16
    that I wasted on
    all those things
    above
The agnosticism of 17
    that was only a matter
    of time
The move from home of 18
    80 miles north
    computer science
The move back home at 19
    80 miles south
    creative writing
The love letters I wrote at 20
    because I couldn't
    and still can't
    just say "Hi."
The poetry I wrote and read at 21
    because I thought
    it was amazing
    it was OK
    but nothing to write about
The girls I left sobbing at 22
    the only thing I could do
    to keep myself from sobbing
The girls that left me waiting at 23
    unable to write, unable
    to speak, able to get
    what I deserved
The lateral motion of 24
    same struggle
    same girls
    same poems
    same letters
    same zero movement
    same beliefs
    same freedom
    same games
    same friends
    same city
    same troubles
    same intelligence
    same lies
    same disconnect
    same guilt
    same loss
    same anger
    same memories
    same stories
    same pictures
I'm turning 25 this year
and I am loathe to think
what will make me cringe next.

02/14/2009

Author's Note: The most I've ever written about myself in a poem.

Posted on 02/14/2009
Copyright © 2022 Jason Wardell

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ava Blu on 02/16/09 at 07:11 PM

Wonderful. I like the format you used, letting us see a glimpse at each age. How fitting you use the date pf 2/14 for this. I especially enjoyed this bit: "The love letters I wrote at 20 because I couldn't and still can't just say "Hi."" Your poem is quite wonderful and I can't wait to make time to read the rest.

Posted by Rachelle Howe on 02/17/09 at 07:52 PM

That's my Otis! Nicely done. I'm going to come back and read again. We shall reconvene shortly. :D

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