A Brief Autobiography

Summer, 2016 / 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 wrestles with robots in existential-crisis, dinosaurs that refuse extinction, alphabets in various stages of explosion/implosion, and many other serious topics, like century-long bus rides, and the way the clouds look right now. His first collection of poetry is The Last White House at the End of the Row of White Houses. He runs Puddles of Sky Press. Last updated summer, 2019.