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Three Poems – Meg Eden

I am Linwood Eden or Current Resident

I am Linwood Eden, or Current Resident.
I am “& May”, the appendage afterthought for extended family.
I am that girl getting married.

I am the Only Child, buried in a stone on the wall.
I am the house that has mail returned invalid.
I am an address for a place that no longer exists.

I am mistaken for my chin hairs.
I am the sixth pianist requested only in emergencies.
I am that girl at ballet practice, whose best friend demands, What’s my surprise for today?

I am a biography from a journal with no name.
I am a poem that is read and misunderstood.
My God! I am the daughter who is remembered by being forgotten!

Mental Breakdown

When I asked my mother if I could store
some bags in the downstairs bedroom,
she took two life jackets off the bed
and stormed upstairs. When I asked her
what she was doing, she said, I’m trying
to regain a piece of my life back.

I half expected to see her in the woods,
unearthing the canoe to sail across the lawn,
not returning until the sky got dark
and we all were hungry, nibbling
Ritz crackers and chocolate bars,
waiting for manna to drop on our plates–

But she goes to her room and watches
DVDs in bed, sleeping while it’s light out.
The life jackets are on the floor, beside
two paddles for the canoe. She says
she wants the room downstairs for guests
but all I see are immovable boxes

of windows and floorboards, waiting
for a room that will never be built.
She tells me she is sorry for the way
she acted, that I can put my bags down there
for now, that tomorrow we will find
another place. It is a place she dreams of.


I can’t believe that’s a very successful search,
for with every WITHOUT there is WITH, for every absence
there is presence, for every nude there is clothes.
Haven’t we learned that words can’t know what we want?

Perhaps if we could search for our intentions more clearly–

But that’s not why I come here, I cannot speak
on behalf of man’s desires. I cannot understand
a woman without her clothes. After all,
what is Aishwarya without her clothing?
Is she greater? Is she softer? Is she something
easier to be grasped? Closer to be attained?
Is she the woman every man believes
is waiting for him somewhere
if he looks through enough pictures?
Or is it her goddess-hood that makes her
so necessary, knowing that she dwells
only in distant pictures?

We convince ourselves that she
is a myth. That there is no harm
in glimpsing the back of holiness.



Meg Eden‘s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, ElevenEleven, and Gargoyle. Her poem “Rumiko” won the 2015 Ian MacMillan award for poetry, and she has four poetry chapbooks in print. She teaches at the University of Maryland. Check out her work at:

I am Linwood Eden or Current Resident was previously published in Poetry Matters.  Mental Breakdown was previously published in Lines+Stars.  All three poems were previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance issue #011.


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