“Size” (which I unfortunately don’t have the draft process for) is a departure from my normal style. I usually avoid confessional-sounding narratives, mostly for the sake that I like developing emotional truths through fictionalized personas and scenarios. While I love and highly respect certain “confessional-style” poets (Sharon Olds comes strongly to mind), I feel uncomfortable writing in that style. It’s as if I feel more naked, more vulnerable; the wife in the poem “could” be me, and my readers “could” think that it is me, even though many of my confessional poems, like this one, are not about my real life and are still told through a fictionalized persona. “Size” is also only the second “confessional-style” poem I’ve ever had accepted for publication (the first being the first ever poem I had accepted for publication!).
Leading up to its publication, I found myself bugging my husband, “Are you sure you’re okay with it going up? People might think it’s really you.”
“But it’s not.”
“But they might think that.”
“So?” (I am blessed to have a husband like this.)
I still found myself worrying, but this is the nature of writing. Sometimes, we have to push outside of our comfort zone. Confessional-style writing for me is way outside of my comfort zone. It’s both an interesting exercise in creating closeness and in navigating how it feels to put something on the page that doesn’t have the obvious distance of fiction (for example, if I was writing from the perspective of a man, an ape, etc., some speaker that couldn’t be easily attributed to me).
How do you all feel about this?