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An Autobiography as Brief as a Candle Flame

I began writing way back in the Dim Regions of Weir, called the teenage years, bad poetry and no prose. Somewhere in my twenties, after reading Raymond Carver, I decided I could also write short stories. So I wrote bad poetry and bad prose for years, but, slowly, like a bird wearing down a mountain with its beak, I began to teach myself this solitary occupation. Stubborn as the will of kings, I listened to few teachers, preferring to go my own merry way, even if wrong, even if embarrassing. Then, in mid-life, I developed a strange malady called either Agoraphobia or Panic Syndrome or Social Anxiety Disease, depending on which nabob you were talking to. Suddenly - as if hit by lunatic lightning - I was cut off from the workaday world. Into therapy I went, and, if it didn't cure my dis-ease, it opened me up in ways I had not foreseen. In the past five years I've written more and better than in the previous 25. In a very real sense, my words go out into humankind for me.


by corey mesler

Melancholy as a hearse-plume,
I rattle the keys
and little words appear: clouds
of vapor breath.

What I work here,
it's easy to say,
is for the children, my progeny
loose in the world,
coins rolled down the sidewalk.

These poems are worthless
to them. I add
little. But, sometimes,
when I'm alone,
and they're as far away
as my own clamant youth,

I think of a phrase
which can hold them,
a handful of well-placed words,
that work like a charm.
Then it's gone
and I'm back here,

a man in a bag, a blind dog.


copyright © 2003, corey mesler



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