The Personhood Project Episode 18: Megan Fernandes
For the 18th episode of The Personhood Project, host, Aaron Tyler Hand, sits down with poet Megan Fernandes. In it, they discuss Fernandes' latest collection, I Do Everything I'm Told, from Tin House books and the way her sonnet crowns play with repetition compulsion. They also examine the right and wrong way to approach writing a poem, the ways we hold contradictions within ourselves and in our writing, and the reasons why we need to stop saying "poetry is dead."
Poets are broken unicorns: They lean into the energy of failure.
bright blue eyes on his
fuzzy scruffy face
soft stare was still
my lost for words
butterfly feeling in my stomach had
my full attention
his impeccable timing
feeling safe and secure in his
I never thought I’d fall in love again
The Club House
Being a small child with a bunch of young siblings
we would run outside in the warm day sun
Climbing trees and jumping fences we did so
many things that we considered fun
but the best time of them all was when
my dad built a club house that was 2 stories tall
He would let us help him hammer the nails
and then we would get to paint the walls
I loved the way we worked together
talking and having a ball
We would try to stay the night in the club
house but would eventually run inside scared
like a mouse
Kids Grandkids God’s word My joy is my bf
Hungry Happy Faithful Don’t lie
Be somebody nice
Cellmates: Sara, Alli, Jessica, Priscilla
God is good! Amen
The smell of my freshly washed baby
and the sound of his laugh.
My son’s smile and hug
after a long day.
The howl of the wind
and the crash of thunder
as the storm hits
against the tin roof
The soft and comforting feel
of a dog named after a gas station.
Who knew an animal could be
so deeply connected to my innermost needs
The heat burning off my skin
and being immersed in water.
All of these things bring me joy.
Even though I’m doing time doesn’t mean I can’t
enjoy my life. Doing time sits me down to
think about even though it’s not god I still
enjoy my family. My family makes me feel so
loved and very much missed. I always miss them.
While doing time I sit and picture my grandbabies
faces. All the different smiles and faces make
my day. Even though I sit and pray my
days away doing this time, I can’t wait until
that day comes to go home.
I’m done with doing time, no more sad
days, all happiness, love, peace and joy
to come. I thank the lord for breaking
me from doing any more time
My eyes are bright as I watch
my grandchildren play. Running
with the wind. Laughter in
the air, joyous are their little
voices. Up the monkey bars.
Back and forth on the swings. A tear
falls don my cheeks at the beauty
and the depth of my love
for them takes my breath
away. Happiness is so fleeting.
Times like this should last forever,
that’s what my heart screams. I
thank God for the blessing of them
all. My boys my heart my joy.
Roses are red
Hays County jail birds are blue
This ain’t forever
We will be free soon
List of Joyous Moments
- Coming home and smelling Ma’s home cooked meal
- Sunny days at the river BBQ’n
- Eating a sandwich after swimming all day
- Cruising, blasting music with the windows down w/ bffs
- Walking my dog on a long walk when it’s breezy
- Buying a gift for a family member and seeing
their face light up with joy
Sometimes I wonder if yall will ever forget me?
Are there thoughts as deep as mine? Can’t be.
Is the emptiness mutual?
How can I reassure this feeling? Can I ever do so?
Time is all I have Time is all I’ll give
To be close to you brings
me eternal joy. I long for the
moment I can feel you precious
face. So perfect and pure. I
wait, silenced in captivity, to be
freed once again. Yes, perfect
you are, my sunshine, my
whole world. My reason for
breathing. Take a breath with
me and hear my suffering.
My cries for the moment I
can see you again, face to
face. Your hand in mine is
so tiny. I made you
in the name I don’t say
while writing this. For the
mere whisper of the four letter
word would mare the fragile
moment blown in the wind.
Until the day, the very sweet day,
you and I for eternity,
mother and son.
This word… will never go away.
How she brings the rhythm
to my beat. Like peace
on a sunny day or light
in a thunderstorm. Someone
to hold tight. What is might
not be but still hope. Like Tidal
waves crashing down. Do you
sink or swim? Reaching
for the light within.
Hurry. Wait. Stop.
It’s a beautiful life
we only wait and
Megan Fernandes uses her poem “Love Poem” to highlight what she sees as the most important thing in life: joy. She talks about the small joys in life, like the first bite of a delicious meal or seeing a cute raccoon, and how those are the moments in life worth praising. While a typical love poem might be for a person, this one is a celebration of joy. Write a poem that celebrates the little joyous moments in your life. Much like Fernandes does in her poem, list some of the little joys in life so that your reader can know what in this world is worth love.
In “Tired of Love Poems” Fernandes acknowledges that humans have a natural inclination towards love and worship, whether it be towards a person, a god, a tree, or even a bird. The speaker of the poem suggests that acts of kindness and love extend beyond just romantic gestures. The poem ends with the speaker entitling the poem anything but Love, indicating their desire to move beyond the clichés of love poetry and explore different expressions of love. Before you write your poem, write out every word that you would call a cliche love word or phase. Now, write a love poem for a person or object that doesn’t use any of the words or phrases on your list.