Tuesday, April 14, 2020

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 14 + April PAD Challenge 2020 Day 14: Your Legacy

Image by Barbara Bonanno from Pixabay

am not
what you hoped
but I am, nonetheless
the legacy that you created
I am your Frankenstein monster
built from the things
that made your life
worth living
I am a
a failure
of a person
I am not 
what you hoped
but I am, nonetheless
the gifts you gave me


NaPoWriMo: write a poem about the people who inspired you to write poems

April PAD Challenge: write a form poem

I think the shape above is a chess pawn. It started out as a simple diamante but turned into what you see. It is what it is.

This poem addresses my late father. He was a professor of literature and humanities who also taught technical writing. I was a precocious little skidmark who learned to read and write by the time I was four years old. I think my father believed that this prodigious spark meant that I was destined for greatness. He read poetry to me. I started reading Edgar Allan Poe's works when I was six years old.

My father wound up tremendously disappointed in me. I was a fuckup who could never do anything right and I had a slew of psychological problems. I was singled out and abused by my peers. I married too young. I had one abusive relationship after another. I engaged in self-harm. Possibly, worst of all, between a fucked endocrine system and years of yo-yo dieting, I ended up fat. My father believed that being fat was a sign of failure. He always went to great lengths to prevent himself from being fat. He ran six miles a day for many years. However, his vascular system was a disaster. He had a major hemorrhagic stroke at 68 years old. At the time of his death at age 74, he had suffered several more strokes, had congestive heart failure and vascular dementia, and was confined to a wheelchair.

If anyone's first inclination is to tell me "cHeEr Up, U cAn StiLLL LUz3 tEh WaTeZ!!111!!!" my suggestion to you is to check the ever-loving fuck out of yourself. Preferably on ice during a hockey game. I tried to hate myself thin for 33 years. With my endocrine problems, it is highly unlikely that I will ever be thin unless I do what my great-grandmother did. She developed acute myelogenous leukemia, dropped from 300 pounds to 95 in the space of a year, and dropped dead. But hey, she cut a svelte figure in her coffin, and, apparently, that's the only fucking thing that counts. Never mind that she was now, you know, DEAD.

In any case, I'm not going to waste another goddamn minute of my time trying to hate myself into the body that other people think I'm supposed to have. Thirty-three years of that shit is long enough. People who think I, or anyone else should do that, can slam down a hot, steaming cup of STFU, read the following fine books, and fuck off forever. Or if you're not a brainwashed, narrow-minded asswipe and you simply think: "say, those books look like they have some good information," you can read them while drinking what you want and omit the fucking off part. I'd think that was pretty cool.


  1. Oh yes.
    It was made clear to me that I didn't/couldn't meet family expectations. And that I was lesser because of that.
    Tough. I am what I am.

    1. I loved my father very much and I do love my mother, but I was clearly the family failure. It's something that I can't fix and I feel better for not continuing to try. I will do what I do and hopefully it reaches some sort of audience. If not, I've still enjoyed doing it.


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