Autobiography is hard (a poem)

I spent a good chunk of yesterday working on a short bio to put in a CV I am preparing for a grant application, so I ended up not writing anything else except this. It’s a bit rough, but I won’t have time to edit until later…

Autobiography is hard
just when I think I’ve got it down
something changes

And I never know which part
of the experience to relate

How much of the parts I hate
do I allow to dominate the narrative?
They go on so long it would seem wrong
not to cut them down to manageable portions
so as not to overwhelm the reader
with negative emotion

Not that I’ve never had any fun
or found someone to love
but those chapters seem so far between
that they might be hard to believe
delusions to suggest I’ve taken leave of my senses

Then to tie them all together
in a way that makes some kind of sense
without distension or distraction
but avoiding excess caution
as I weave the threads to form the finished tale

And what of space for the ending?
There’s no place for pretending it’s finished yet
though diminishing returns sometimes sow seeds of doubt

But that’s all stuff I can do without
as I start to get it down
before something changes

(25 August 2015—posted August 26)