This is the poem that should begin my book of poems. It should be digestible, readable, and agreeable, in order not to scare people away from the start. It should reveal something about how I’m vulnerable, but not so vulnerable as to be pathetic, and then allude to an action of mine which exhibits audacity. This instance should be ballsy enough to have the reader immediately flip to back of the book to inspect my author photo to see whether I’m attractive enough to be that confident. I, in turn, should be just that striking in said photo to not confuse people into thinking that this is just some kind of fuckin’ persona poem and then I would instantly remove fuckin’ because that would show that I’m altogether too angry or too young or trying too hard, which I obviously am, but at least I’d be admitting it instead of chomping on the end of a pen hard enough to elicit an erudition I don’t possess. And then I’d remember that there could be a scholar reading this poem, which could potentially endanger the life of the piece, creating a huge hesitation in its writing, which until this point had been a revision of key stroke, key stroke, key stroke. And at that point it would be just about time to stop this opening poem because any more self-indulgence and some would not go on. Whatever the case, there will be quite a few who will have stopped before they get to this line and to them I say—nothing, as they are gone.
-- Marcia LeBeau has been published in decomP magazinE, Moon City Review, Rattle, SLANT, Pennsylvania English, and others. She holds an MFA in poetry from the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ creative writing program. Marcia lives in South Orange, New Jersey. www.marcialebeau.com