anecdote: a surgeon refuses to operate because i am too fat. advice: speak up in the moment. fact: a pot of water takes a couple of minutes to boil. truth: perched on a table in a paper gown, i agree with anybody wearing clothes. question: do you ever ruminate on a concluded interaction? capitulation: maybe his refusal was a reason i get to be alive. proverb: a stopped clock is right twice a day. disclaimer: accuracy is not the same as helping. anecdote: a first date snakes his hand up my shirt to squeeze my belly. context: he discloses his fat fetish to me in an email before we go out. expectation: i want to be wanted. reaction: i leave my body for a while and wander around on the ceiling. paradox: i would rather be tolerated than desired. anecdote: a thin poet tells me how to sympathetically write about my body. retort: my body is not a wall we all have to get past. concession: until it is. assertion: if my personality had a body it would be this body. anecdote: i don’t fit into any of the chairs with arms at my writing workshop. metaphor: shame is a house with no place to sleep. simile: writing about fatness is like spilling a devastating personal secret everybody already knows. anecdote: teenagers harass me from a moving car. confession: i think you’re beautiful and i am ugly. demand: i need you to understand i am just a person with a lot of work to do. behavior: i look at my hands and wait.
Catherine Weiss is a poet and artist from Maine. Their poetry has been published in Tinderbox, Up the Staircase, Fugue, Okay Donkey, perhappened, Birdcoat, Bodega, Counterclock, petrichor, and Flypaper Lit. Catherine is the artist behind the collaborative poetry chapbook/card deck I WISH I WASN’T ROYALTY (Game Over Books, 2020). They are also the author of chapbook-length poem, FERVOR (Ginger Bug Press, 2021) and full-length poetry collection, WOLF GIRLS VS. HORSE GIRLS (Game Over Books, 2021). More at catherineweiss.com.
image: Kevin Sampsell is the publisher of Future Tense Books in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the co-curator and founder of Sharp Hands Gallery, an online showcase for international collage art. His book of collages and poems, I Made an Accident, will be published by Clash Books in 2022.