scarecrow poetics/essays

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The poet after forty . . .

For years, decades, I’ve struggled to break thru—
in my writing, in my life

And now I’m finally doing it, growing up, learning
to understand my pain and how to forgive
my family

and the women who’ve hurt me and myself for letting
them hurt me, while suddenly finding the confidence
to lay down the cleanest line I can

But now that I’m arriving at this new, well-lit place
I’m finding that there’s no one here
to greet me

Most of my family is dead, the vast majority of my friends
have disappeared into marriages, careers, jobs, and mindsets
I simply cannot understand, old girlfriends are too far away
in every respect for renewed sparks or even mutual apologies,
the new girls are too young and losing interest in my graying
temples at the same rate I’m losing interest in their adolescent
needs, and the older women who are still free are available
mainly because they’re crazy in all the wrong ways or
bitter divorcées or both, unfit of course for a budding poet
learning for once to love life and growing younger
by the minute …

So here I am, more alive than ever and on many more nights
than not alone with my keyboard, a book, or an Angels’ game
on the radio, pacing my apartment like a caged animal,
desperate for someone willing to let me tell them
how profoundly happy I’ve become …

Robert Woodard © 2007.

ROB WOODARD was born in Anaheim, California in 1964 and raised mostly in the nearby Long Beach area. After graduating high school, he dropped in and out of various community colleges and worked mostly in restaurants in southern California, Hawaii, and Australia, while taking breaks to wander aimlessly across big swaths of the globe. During these years he wrote consistently in search of his voice as a writer. Frustrated by his lack of progress, he returned to school and eventually obtained bachelors and masters degrees in anthropology from California State University, Long Beach. After a brief stint as a college professor, he returned to working in restaurants and writing. Burning Shore Press recently published Heaping Stones, his first novel. What Love Is, his second novel, is scheduled to be released by the same house in the summer/early fall of 2006. He is currently writing poetry, book reviews, and a journal.



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