Artist | Writer | Therapist


writings on food, the creative process, on how to be in a relationship with myself. writings even on writing. 

I met myself last night on a page.

This poem was read aloud both at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center's "The Round" on February 13, 2018 and on "The Appetite" podcast, in a bonus episode set to release on March 7, 2018. It was written to be read if you want to hear it read to you like it's storytime...check out the link below and hear me chat about the process.

I met myself last night on a page—
just nineteen years-old—
but I respected her
experimental craft.

At that age, I had fewer resources
so I wrote the words down that I wouldn’t speak
and sculpted poems for survival instead.
I turned the walnut in my throat into some kind of
wag-a- bosh, wild worship.
I crooned cuckoo just to get it out, to let it be said.

Now, this
is the same heart.
The heart that waltzed slow on a roped rug,
wine-sloshed and spaghetti-full.
This is the same heart I’ve covered
and slaughtered
and sabotaged.
My ache is the same, and my heart still
figures it out.

I am alive and always wise,
always wrong.

There’s something hopeful here in the life I have—
in these faces,
in these ferns,
in the drumming rhythm of windshield wipers.
It looks more like how I’ve dreamed of it to look.

I, on the other hand,
look less internally like the person I’ve remembered myself to be.
Am I a ruse?
a ruse?
a ruse?

Maybe simply I’m too outwardly focused
too fragmented and scattered
across iPhone apps
and friends enmeshed I love but cannot leave.

What if I came back to myself?
Let moments matter more,
let myself loose?
What if I gave myself nineteen year-old weight?

I was heavier then.
I had heavier thighs and heavier feelings.
I had heavier thoughts and heavier leanings.
What if I came back to myself?
Gave that girl more weight?
What if I let myself loose

and held her wild, winning hand,
so we could rise up together
like paper lanterns
lifted wishes
heavy enough
to take flight.

- Carter Umhau

Carter UmhauComment