Birthday Poem & 6 Year Data


Outside window is a killing cold front,
moving under my moon.
Swirling air.. wrapping up my package.
Where is my package?
I had it minutes ago?

Around my fingers are recurring sentences,
recurring places- in my famous round road.
And it looks as though every child did,
running around for a stone

Woke up in my bed-
I have got cold fingers,
tingling pulses.
What is my message?
I had a message,
mixing hot air alone?

Turned my head and said,
Where are my feelings?
I had some feelings-
half a second ago?

If you want, I will run another mile.
How long is my mile?
My legs feel like a child.

Pink lungs dangling from that tree stem.
Did some pull ups.
Cold air blowing again.

Author’s Note
As you may have guessed, I wrote this poem 6 years ago. I had never written a poem. I woke up that morning, went for a run, and the words had assembled along the way. It was my birthday so I thought I owed myself the gift and wrote it down. The next day, I wrote another. I suppose I thought I may as well begin the habit whenever words assembled for me. It has been 6 years. Since that morning, I have written 1,605 poems. On average, that’s 265 poems a year, but that’s deceptive to state. Let me break it down:

Nov 12 – Dec 31, 2003, I wrote 40.
In 2004, I wrote 619.
In 2005, I wrote 411.
In 2006, I wrote 172.
In 2007, I wrote 82.
In 2008, I wrote 45.
In 2009, I wrote 235.

I look at this chart and I see what could be defined as my spiritual health, if you permit me that. My art and poetry output are typically inline with my emotional well being. The red line is the average. I entered 2009 pretty much bottomed out. Following the trend, I was scheduled to write about 20 crap poems this year. But that is not what happened. I suppose assembling this data was me affirming for myself with analytical data that I have in fact turned the corner of what had been a very low point for me personally.

Here, I break the yearly chart into months. Take note of month 67 (April). I am operating above the red line for the first time since March 2006, which ironically is when I had my last one person show at the gallery in Chicago.

Here, we see trends between months over the past 6 years. It is interesting to see that July is consistently a high. February, March, and November are lows.

So there you have it. My highs. My lows. Counting my luck on all my fingers and toes. Silly. Just Silly.

written on 11/12/2003 by: Matt Kane