Poem: About Me

I am.
I’d be lying if I said I were an expert at being me.
Candle crackles and a cat disruption
I’m here.
I’m fine.
I’m better at certain things than a lot of my closest friends and family are.
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an expert in those things.
At least not yet.
I’ll let others decide how they view me.


I’m a husband, a father,
a tender-hearted lover.
I’m a triplet, Mexican American, Spanish- English- speaking
writing, singing, acting, guitar-playing, teaching, theatre-making, manic

Former social media specialist.
Former marketer: dark matter.
Former soulless exoskeleton.
Former zombie.
Former horror writer wannabe.
Former hopeful six-year-old boy staring down mortality.
Former private school kid.
Former punched my brother in the knee and broke my hand in tenth grade.
Former dated a half-black half-asian girl in my tenth grade world history class.
Former student of Mr. Smith, who sold a screenplay to hollywood.
Former finding out, upon becoming a teacher, that he’d passed away too soon.
Former imagining he wrote away his job and family and committed suicide.
Former scared to die.
Former scared to die alone.

Because, I hold my own.
For now.

I’ve had to learn how to stay sane in a job I didn’t necessarily want in the first place.
But I didn’t have a plan
or I dismissed my own as useless,
to execute in spite of myself.

I’ve missed out on too many opportunities
and it’s been no one’s else’s fault,
and while there are other factors,
there’s no other place I’d rather be
right now in the world
than here with my wife and kids.

I’ve had to learn to work on my anxiety and depression.

I’ve had to learn to be a better me
so I can be a better anything I want to be.

It’s an ongoing process.
Results are not typical.
All customers in this advertisement are paid actors.
Objects are much smaller than they appear,
but they are there.

I’m familiar with working with others.
I grew up with three brothers.
My two triplet brothers
and one older brother.
I believe it’s helped me work well
with ensembles, theatre, directing.
I’ve written plays, one screenplay,
and one novel. I’ll keep them tucked away.

I’m familiar with the sunrise
framing Cerro de la Silla,
a dual citizen, and I even studied
a semester in mother’s homeland.
I remember spending navidad nights
looking at twinkling lights
on the sides of the hills and mountains
of la Sierra Madre in Monterrey.

I’m familiar with suffering, grief,
death, bankruptcy, alcohol and drugs.
I’m familiar with politics
and poeting on backyard lightning bugs.

I’m familiar with synesthesia
from the strings of a guitar,
stage lights hitting me,
midday poems in bars.

I’m familiar with religion and the lack thereof.
I’m familiar with so many things. Like art.
I like to paint words. I like to make art pieces
with my kids, hanging mantras and phrases.

I’m familiar with kids,
their smiles, their chins,
their cheek, nose, head,
and a son’s former stim.
I’m familiar with heart thievery
from a daughter’s crafty grin.

The hardest thing I’ve ever learned
to do
has been to
be myself, to
love myself, to
be able to
love anyone else.

-Alexander P. Garza

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