People Poems are dedicated to people who, for one reason or another, have distinguished themselves in my life. People Poem 2 is dedicated to Pearl Kirkby who persuaded me — in one sentence — to change my signature from that of a backward looking former academic to that of a forward looking creative writer. ID, from Granite Ship rewritten as Land of Rocks and Saints, and liked by Pearl, reminds me of my time in academia. However, the final image of the USB states clearly the forward-looking aspect of my creativity. I am now a full-time creative writer. Thank you, Pearl, for pointing this out to me. Please accept this poem and this bouquet of e-flowers as my tribute and acknowledgement of my debt to you.
Within this bookstore are many books, yet none
with my name on the cover or my life blood inside.
Deeper I dig, and deeper. Now here is a name I know,
and there in the bibliography, at last, I find my name:
two books, a dozen or so articles, a thesis, and I am
vindicated. All that study, that work, has led to this:
my name in a foreign book in a foreign bookstore. Nice
work: now I know that wherever I go, I can establish
my identity, set myself free from anonymity’s pangs.
Plug in the computer, turn it on, and there I am on the web,
smiling back at me. There is no better passport, no better
sense of being, of identity, than that contained in these
images of self, these self-reproductions that I carry with
me, always, in a memory stick looped round my neck.
Plaza de Santa Teresa
26 VII 2005