The Bio as Prose Poem: B to Z

Naomi Benaron once traveled to the center of the earth on the back of her dog, Atticus, accompanied by a mole named Rutembeza. They were looking for Poetry’s One truth, and although they found it, the rock onto which it was scratched proved too frangible to survive the journey home. Naomi now spends her time behind dark glasses at the corner table of a scrappy bar, sketching Joni Mitchell songs on napkins, smoking Camels down to smolder.


Zan Bockes, a direct descendent of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry, continues to write with the hope that she will someday make the dizzying leap from “unknown” to “obscure.” Her work can be found in out-of-print literary magazines and public restrooms. A resident of Missoula, Montana, she prospers as a Residential Sanitation Specialist for her own housecleaning service, “Maid in Montana.” Regarding her life in general, she states, “I can’t complain. But sometimes I still do.”


E. Michael Desilets still speaks Latin in his sleep but has yet to earn a single plenary indulgence.  He just can’t get enough steel-cut oatmeal, and he takes no delight in the fact that the near occasions of sin seem so far away nowadays.


Solla Carrock : Solla grew up under a different name. Once she dreamed about it.

Someone writes on a chalkboard, two columns, one labeled Sandy and underlined, the other labeled Solla, also underlined and adjectives beneath to describe them. I don’t remember all the words, but it is something like this:

Solla: strong sure, inspired, independent, visionary.
Sandy: weak, dependent, whiny, imaginative, loveable.

And the writer says, are you really sure, you don’t want to keep her too?


Maureen Ann Connolly takes a bath every night; if she doesn’t leave a ring around the tub, the day was wasted.


Chris D'Errico, Italian-American Futurist, lives in Vegas, baby, VEGAS. He has a floor of penthouses all to himself atop one of the big, lavish strip hotels where he celebrates a high-carb diet, grows his beard & fingernails long, wears nothing but silk boxer shorts, a velour bathrobe & empty tissue boxes for slippers. Best known for his part in the infamous Salad Bar Putsch of '89, D'Errico is the author of the books Putsching For Dummies and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coup d'Etat.


Timothy Gordon continues to Twist to all au courant musical genres— hip-hop, rap, techno, doo-wop dithyrambs. Fantasizes about a romantic tryst with Judge Judy, then indicting a licit Harlequin on same. Was once informed he looked like a jejune James Garner, but upon a mirror crack’d reflection discovered one-eyed Jack(s) Elam. Can’t help feeling that every “Champagne of Bottled Beer” forged in the smithy of his soul renders him an equivocal prole of negative capability. Keeps it real by addressing himself third-person-wise as “Snooki.”


Karen Greenbaum-Maya actually was raised by wolves, and really did grow up in a barn. She is bilingual, sings loud, and is not related to anyone she knows. She often laughs at things no one else thinks are funny. When the French Department kicked her out, she went and majored in German. Three words:  Zwetschgendatschi mit Schlag. She can recite the first 25 places of π, but who cares? She takes life very very very seriously.


Paul Hostovsky pees in the State House and resides on a bench in the Boston Common where he spends his days impersonating a blind man reading, fingers deep in Dear Abby. He smoked a lot of pot and played a lot of Frisbee during his formative years, so he likes poems that are intoxicatingly interesting and have lift.


Maude Larke lives in France with the ghost of her last cat. Her credo is 'never wear two things of the same color when hiking'. She has this bad habit of collecting things and getting antsy when people begin to touch the items in the collections. Especially the pebble collection. She thoroughly admits that she teaches as a day job out of sadism.”


Sherry O’Keefe: You should know up front that I've flipped out of every canoe I've ever been in. Up until a bit ago, I carried a shop rag in my back seat, just in case I came across a lake I hadn't yet jumped in (for drying off, later). Naturally, it doesn't count if you go looking for the lake. It also doesn't count if you flip out on purpose.


Leigh Phillips is looking Detroit, feeling Portland, living Brooklyn, born in country, locked in urban, exile bodied girl-boy, getting by, both, neither, 32 and not solved, convex, a life in between. She’s an exile from the map of a heteronormative exhale. Leigh is loosening the screw and homesick for trees.


David Radavich: My bio has long since degraded – rather like week-old tapioca even the mice won’t touch. I don’t go out of the house; I rent food and throw it out. Any day they might haul me away – unless I surprise them and run. It’s not pretty, but sometimes I rhyme.


Robert J. Savino: It was 1964, reading Blake in high school, when it began. The Complete Poems, in paperback, became my guide as the road of excess led to the palace of wisdom. Everything became not as ordinary as it appeared and I began a life sentence in a metaphoric mind.


Patricia L. Scruggs wants to be a mermaid when she grows up. She knows all the words to all the songs, but can’t carry a tune. And she always forgets her comb. She has recently learned she will never get the part of Tinkerbell, not because her tail would get in the way, but because she is too tall.


Amy Small-McKinney does not mind being made of glass. Luckily, her body is primarily tempered glass. Only once, when she was seven, was there a problem. During recess, her left pinkie finger shattered into small oval glass pebbles as she managed to escape the wrath of three ruffians. Amy writes her poetry with her tongue, her single muscle. She has learned not to throw stones.  A bio-technical miracle, she has become a mother. After years of therapy, she has learned to love being translucent.


Ian C. Smith: ICS wanted to be a bus conductor with a red stripe down his side of his trousers, like a soldier, then a footballer, a gangster, a sports reporter, a novelist. He has dabbled extensively in marriage and fatherhood but is still not very good at them.


Michael Angelo Tata is a Gila Monster.  But you can also call him Sheila Monster.


Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé likes to wrestle with mud, and hopes some cool pots come out of it all. He likes to hear glaze crack after his works are freed from the kiln. He made something for Kerouac and wished he’d been born earlier so he could have given it to him, and sneaked in an Irish sleepover, with Frank O’Hara adding his splashy two cents to the first draft of “Tristessa”.