I enjoy the distillation of words. I believe less is best, and when writing I try to leave out the parts that most people skip (as recommended by novelist Elmore Leonard). I love the one line poem, the picture that’s worth a thousand words, and cutting back the rose so more blooms will grow. But the meme Pearl recently tagged me for – to write a six word memoir – was a challenge I initially tried to avoid because it seemed nearly impossible to abbreviate my life to that degree.
The meme was inspired by the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, which was inspired by Hemingway’s alleged six word story, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The book is a collection of almost 1,000 six word memoirs, including those of celebrities, such as Steven Colbert. “Well, I thought it was funny,” his reads. Other ones I like, found at the Smith Magazine website, where the memoirs were culled from: “Anything is possible with an extension cord,” Billy Sirr; “Proof that potheads can be somebody,” by Green Bean; and “Manhattan raised. Three kids? Hello, Jersey,” by Dano.
Maybe this is cheating. I wrote more than one memoir. Read together; could be a poem. Everything is suspect; counting every word.
Once I started, I couldn’t stop:
Six word memoirs in sixteen parts
Backseat poet; the muse is driving
Gidget goes Woodstock; ends up country
Barefoot homebody; gets lost in cities
Still hangs laundry on the line
Techno phobic blogger mainlines computer
Is there rehab for tea drinkers?
Love me but leave me alone
Doesn’t do knick knacks or math
Fifty-six and never been in high-heels
Lies about age; just one year
College drop out; flunked middle class
I’d rather be looking through kaleidoscopes
Field note taker; writes on hand
Yields to children; brakes for flowers
Always preparing the ultimate travel wardrobe
Time to turn over; I’m done