Poem: I am, I am, I am by K. Carrier

On life writing poetry.

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I am a child’s art project, a collage of cut and pasted characters from literature

I am Kat, not Katie, renamed in the tradition of Shakespeare’s shrew

I am Daisy Buchanan’s smile, her fleeting attention, and no, I won’t still love you when you’re no longer young and beautiful
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me

I am Jane Eyre, but

I am always trapped, always stumbling into the same nets over and over; I am not Jane Eyre

I am the mad woman in the attic

I am depressed and anxious

I am forever peeling back the yellow wall paper, trying to free myself
I am a child’s art project, a collage of cut and pasted characters

I am irrelevant

I am Ashley Wilkes at the end of Gone with the Wind; the time for people like me has long come and gone
I am nothing, but

I am trying
I am trying cauterize this passion for literature, to make it stop flowing like puss from an infected wound, to let it heal into something useful, productive

I am trying to belong, to serve a purpose, and to no longer depend on the kindness of strangers

But I am not Blanche Dubois, or Jane Eyre, or Daisy Buchanan, or Ashley Wilkes

I am Kat–not Katherine the shrew. Just Kat.

I am carrying on and maybe there’s a chance that I can separate myself from these fictions because

I continue, I still am
I am, I am, I am

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