So I hadn’t done Laura’s PhotoPoetry for a while but since she’s in LA at Nationals and I am not (sigh) I posted this week’s PhotoPoetry picture. And since I posted the picture I felt like I needed to do a 15 Words or less poem myself. What follows is the rambling brainstorm I went through. I post it to prove that first drafts and brainstorms are sloppy, ugly and uncontrollable until we revise.

This was the picture:

And this was the brainstorm:

I’m laughing and you’re not
laughing on the inside
inside isn’t always best
inside holding tight
you can’t see me
inside out
I was outside in
outside in the laughter
waiting to go in
to the silence and write
laughing inside out
makes my stomach hurt
but not
in a good way
it’s hard to be good
too hard sometimes
for me
me and my shadow
in plain sight
waiting to disappear
if I could disappear
I might
but only after
and after chocolate
but before my bath
bathtime makes me
want to run
makes me
chase the dog
and follow the cat up a tree
until I fall
I fall
but no one sees me
still I cry
just a little
just a little bit more time
is all I need
to figure out this
and how many fingers it takes
to divide by seven
so everyone
can have a piece of pie
I have
too many words
jumbled up inside
with nowhere to go
tied up in knots of
filled with
not luck
but in spite
or despite
out just plain
out of spite
I share
I care
I pare the words
from giant storms
to tiny
raindrops of
filling pages
with cliches
that never show
how all alone
how all alone looks
when you are outside
looking in

And here is the final version:

laughing at
I hide from
I was
–Susan Taylor Brown