About a month ago, I came across poetry by Nick Flynn while flipping through Tricycle magazine. Soon after I picked up his memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which ended up being one of the best memoirs I've read in the last five years (My other recent memoir favorite is Jeanette Winterson's Why Be Happy When Could Be Normal?).
I've considered (and still consider) putting together my own little memoirs about certain periods of my life (my 15th year of existence on planet earth, the various jobs I've taken, my 3-month trip to India, my first year of motherhood, my public and private experiences with social-based art practice, and eating food with strangers around the world.) Reading memoirs like the two mentioned above certainly help move this proces along.
Here is a poem from Nick Flynn's debut poetry collection, Some Ether.
Cartoon Physics, part 1
Children under, say, ten, shouldn’t know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies
swallowed by galaxies, whole
solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning
the rules of cartoon animation,
that if a man draws a door on a rock
only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries
will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds
should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,
ships going down — earthbound, tangible
where they can be heroes. You can run
back into a burning house, sinking ships
have lifeboats, the trucks will come
with their ladders, if you jump
you will be saved. A child
places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
& drives across a city of sand. She knows
the exact spot it will skid, at which point
the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
& who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn
that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
he will not fall
until he notices his mistake.