Intimidations of an Autobiography
by James Tate
I am walking a trail
on a friend's farm
about three miles from
town. I arrange the day
for you. I stop and say,
you would not believe how happy
I was as a child,
to some logs. Blustery wind
in my face as I am
pretending to be on my way
home to see you and
the family again,
to touch the orange
fingers of the moon.
That's how I think of it.
The years flipped back last night
and I drank hot rum till
It was a wild success and I wasn't sad when
I woke past noon
and saw the starlings in the sky.
My brain's an old rag anyway,
but I've got a woman and you'd say
she's too good for me. You'd call
her a real doll and me a goof-ball.
I've got my head between my paws
because it's having a damn
birthday party. How old do you think I am?
I bet you think I'm
It doesn't matter. Just between
us, you know what I'm doing
now? I'm calling the cows home.
They're coming, too.
myself to the ground lazily,
a shower of avuncular kisses
issuing from my hands and lips-
I just wanted to tell you
I remember you even now;
Goodbye, goodbye. Here come the cows.