The Poems

A Brief Autobiography

From the Summer, 2016, issue 

(No. 37)

I am a red sneaker, a blinking stoplight, Lake Ontario. I was born in a cabin with the roar of buffalo guns filling the room. No curtains. A ship in a bottle. The rains were few and these I carried in a hammock slung beneath the wagon. I have split myself down the middle, hopped in both directions at once, returned, and zipped myself back together. I held the dying light in my trembling hands, ate a burrito for dinner. I purchased the head of an axe, a stringless violin, a pocket watch engraved with a stranger’s name. I tamed a shrew to perch on my shoulder, lifted a boulder to free the blind prospector. He lavished me with televisions, a lion tamer’s gold tooth, a house of gingerbread. I am a phone booth in the desert, a drop from a faucet, the windowless basements of youth. Once, I flapped my arms yet remained landlocked. I am a tackle box at a yard sale, a bucket of rusted nails. I am a fruit fly, an ice skate, the lost highway at midnight twisting through the mountains like smoke rising from my grandfather’s pipe.

Michael e. Casteels runs Puddles of Sky Press and has published more than a dozen chapbooks of poetry, most recently Solar-powered Light Bulb and the Lake’s Achy Tooth. His first full-length book of poetry will be published in fall, 2016. Last updated summer, 2016.
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