years from now, will we
huddle in the shadows of football stadiums and office complexes
like our ancestors did in the Coliseum and the Parthenon
centuries after the walls of Rome
will mankind descend to becoming the final residents
crouching in the shadows of what
their ancestors accomplished
wondering about the people who designed skyscrapers
international airports and
on the timeline, I’m a map of wrong turns
detours—15, should have buried myself in computers
like my friends, at seventeen, should have buried myself in schoolwork,
taken advantage of my early college admittance, at nineteen
my father asks, you still think you’re going to be
an astronaut? at twenty, lectures on how
real writers spend eight hours a day writing, not three
twenty-one, my boyfriend asks me how I can justify
spending so much money on postage to
send out manuscripts when I don’t have anything
in the fridge.
I hear myself giving speeches on missed chances
to my children, to a son almost out of the house and I
know I’ve heard these lectures somewhere before, I hear myself tell my daughter
about how once upon a time all I wanted out of life was to
someday push an ice cream cart at the zoo
have a big, fat orange cat like the one sitting in my lap
children who loved me, and I think,
no, that’s not exactly true.
Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.
Richard Kostelanetz’s work in several fields appear in various editions of Readers Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers, Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, Contemporary Poets, Contemporary Novelists, Postmodern Fiction, Webster’s Dictionary of American Writers, The HarperCollins Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Directory of American Scholars, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Art, NNDB.com, Wikipedia.com, and Britannica.com, among other distinguished directories. Otherwise, he survives in New York, where he was born, unemployed and thus overworked.