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  • Rough Draft TX Team

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."

Megan Fernandes:

Poets are broken unicorns: They lean into the energy of failure.


his love

bright blue eyes on his

fuzzy scruffy face

gentle touch

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

Love Always

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.

Doing Time

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

hope for…

Writing Prompts:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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