by Tyler Bigney
I used to be young and naïve enough
to believe you could be anything you wanted
if you put your mind to it.
For the longest time, I wanted
to be a bad guy wrestler,
like Zeus or the Iron Sheik.
I bought wrestling magazines
and saved money for a weight bench
and for the tattoo of a red dragon
I was going to have inked on my chest.
Late at night, I replaced my father’s snores
with the standing ovation of a crowd
and the sound of them chanting my name.
But my father said I didn’t have
the right body type and at the time
I didn’t know what steroids were.
So I gave up and started saving money
for a guitar. It took a year,
and I plucked and strummed
alone in my bedroom, imagining
the sell out crowd singing along
to the songs I wrote
about not accomplishing the goals
I had set out to achieve. But my fingers
wouldn’t move the way
I wanted them to move.
As I grew older I turned my attention
to writing poems, short stories,
and dreamt of a novel. I dropped out
of university and found a job that paid
three dollars above minimum wage
at a plastic factory. A job that gave me
routine, and time alone to write.
I sat on stools tying knots in the tiny strands
of plastic, feeding them through
a big machine, and dreaming of what
I was going to go home to write about.
That was eight years ago, and
I still haven’t written anything,
except the words to this poem
and the acknowledgements
to a novel I couldn’t finish.
So that’s another dream gone to the wayside,
but you should see how many knots
I can tie in under a minute.