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She had a dream that poetry would make her wealthy.

She says the internet is littered with the poems she wrote back in high school; stolen, washed clean of her name, floated down some ignorant brook, and deposited in seemingly random places.

She says the writing is the way out, that she’s always known this in her bones but that she’s been too shy. Now she will become the nation’s poet laureate if only she can find a way to publish this beautiful plagiarized poems. How will she reclaim credit?

She says this means she must start again, from scratch, but that she is not discouraged: the stealing en masse of her work is proof that everybody things that her writing is good. With her sons, adopted Ugandan boys, she walks through her home with foul herbs in a cup, swinging a shaft of smoldering sage.

She has always been afraid to answer the call, but all this time nature has been calling her, telling her to become a poet. Its witchy will calls to her, beckons her, and all her problems will be mended when she realizes its furious intentions.

She will be rich. She has let the spirit dwell within her, too dorman for too long. Does anybody know of any literary magazines? She will be a writer every morning while the boys do their math workbooks. They are homeschooled, or un-schooled, she calls it; they are ethically vegan and energetic and mild. They were named for twin rivers that hugged their ancestral village, until they were adopted; how they have old Scottish names.

Update: the internet is told that her book is being sold on Amazon dot com, with worldwide distrubution. She does not paste a link and I search but my fingers return nothing. There are hard copies of her poetry being flung across the earth, far away as Japan, and yet she has not seen a cent.

A girl we both barely know rises from the ether. A frozen, years-old photo of her says: think of it this way, at least people are reading you. Someone else asks to see where it’s being sold, by whom, and if she is credited. Update: she has contacted the distributor and learned that only two copies were made, and now she is in possession of both of them. She will hold onto them for her boys, in case she is famous one day.

A computer fails again. She eats buckwheat pancakes. She vows to back up all her files, claiming she will need a dozen zip drives to store her voluminous body of words. It would take an inconceivable number of tiny text files to fill a single 16-gigger. She will also require a safety deposit box, to place under her bed. Something resistant to water and fire.

In high school she had a clear, pure singing voice. It came unexpectedly from her, like a spray of fresh water released from underground. In person she was always silent. Her meekness clouded her ego.

She will be the greatest poet, and everyone will see. The universe has promised her an abundance, she writes, and noted that doors would be swiftly opening. She has never taken doubt for an answer. She wonders if anyone would like to draw her first book’s cover image for free.

Originally published at

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