“Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads
In the middle of the A-side of a permanently borrowed black cassette, unfamiliar handwriting on a peeling label, the Eurythmics singing “Sweet Dreams” on the flip-side, it was taped off vinyl, I could tell because there was an extra wobble, even though the song already sounded underwater, weird. I was fifteen or sixteen and basically at sea, having adapted the mantra about trying everything once into something about trying everything over and over and applying it to sex and drugs and words and protest, until “how did I get here?” was the right question, literally, figuratively, perpetually. But the song promised, too. I’d get there. Like almost everyone did. I’d be grown up and living out ordinary days in ordinary ways–only turning back sometimes, in an awful gesture, saying, my God! This is not my beautiful life.
Cecily Iddings‘ first book, Everyone Here, was published by Octopus Books in 2014. Her recent poems can be found in Atlas Review, Horse Less Review, inter:rupture, Prelude, Sixth Finch, and The Volta, among other places. She lives and teaches in Brooklyn.
Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?