This poem was inspired by various freeing exercises, including “word hoards” taken at random from other texts, and it says something that the “real” me is unable to speak aloud.
Self Portrait as Sidewalk
Sometimes I trip people just to see their hands fly up as gravity muscles them down to the ground. Just to see the lopsided gallery of their shoes -- rubber soles, leather soles, the shoes of shit-faced stumblers and the fickle feet of children veering off into lush plant jungles or the pocked moonscapes of neglect on the boulevard. The shuffle stumble of the man from the group home down the street, that visionary who talks to his hand without shame or censure. Dogs with their rough music of paw pads and toenails. I am only noticed in the places where I am most broken.
KateLynn Hibbard’s books are Sleeping Upside Down, Sweet Weight, and Simples, winner of the 2018 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize. Editor of When We Become Weavers: Queer Female Poets on the Midwest Experience, she teaches at Minneapolis College and lives with many pets and her spouse Jan in Saint Paul.
KateLynn's Book Recommendations
Li-Young Lee, The City In Which I Love You
Diane Seuss, Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
Nick Flynn, I Will Destroy You
Kaveh Akbar, Pilgrim Bell
Amy Gerstler, An Index of Women
Marianne Boruch, The Little Death of Self: Nine Essays Toward Poetry.