| Filed under

Contributor: Bill Gillard

- -
I’ve lived longer than Thoreau but
not better. Certainly not written better,
although few of any age can
say they have. Spent not nearly
enough time in a canoe in Maine.

I’ve lived longer than Poe and
happier, but the horrors of the
blood spring a page just as
sure as spring days do loved
ones eager for more than my company.

I’ve lived longer than Fitzgerald his
boat long since surrendered to the
current while mine marooned in rushes
borne neither to the past nor
the future one paddle erect in muck.

I’m catching up to Richard Wright
and Emily Dickinson whose mirrors would
have envied mine—white and male
and free—and who made great
art despite the slings of outrageous fortune.

These words, too, lounge on an
easy couch while I do other
things with what little time I
have remaining until I end
up on the poster “Sparse Talent Squandered.”

And that’s it—my big idea—
a biography series about people not
listed among the great but people
like me for whom a single life
never got started for whom the main

channel of the river diverged along
the way in all of this
tall grass when the water table
dropped a drought of a life human
a broken poetic form

- - -
Bill Gillard is an award-winning teacher of creative writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin – Fox Valley. His writing has appeared in Serving House, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Literary Review, The Writer's Chronicle, Chiron Review, Review Americana, Dark Sky Magazine, and many others. His most recent chapbook is Ode to Sandra Hook (Finishing Line Press). He earned an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a recovering youth hockey coach.


Powered by Blogger.