by David Galloway writers must come from dust & hold at least seven odd jobs they can list in their biographies: worked as eel fishermen or lion tamers or oil prospectors or yukon mushers or mountain monks or anything that is undoubtedly work but captivating in unusual detail before ascending to the right hand of literature. none of this is me, do you know what is suburbia? the redlined-made pale kind, families in vaulted-ceilinged homes, two-story entranceways, three-car garages that scream i have arrived, & their kids sell, snort, & shoot more drugs than the inner city ever did & drink deep the ice-chest beers of their fathers while no one is looking. i was a lifeguard, i sorted boring US govt periodicals, i catalogued russian books on agriculture, i taught kids how to canoe & row & sail at a summer camp, flipped burgers at a scout jamboree & valet parked for a rich friend one night with my brother, only we couldn’t drive stick for shit so when sent for the sporty volkswagen we had to push it up the hill to get out of the parking spot, every time we put it in gear we inched closer to the next car until bumper to bumper we gave up & resorted to brute strength, it took so long we earned an odd look despite our claims there were a lot of cars & it’s pretty tight up there, & that’s the sum of my compelling biography: no barroom shootouts, shark attacks, multiple tours, surviving a tsunami, just a nonstory about a car we couldn’t move & a tip we never got.
David Galloway is a writer and college professor of Russian. Born and raised in Maryland, for the past twenty-five years he has lived in upstate New York. He is the author of poyms for people (Kelsay Books, 2021), and his poetry and essays have most recently appeared in Rattle, Into the Void, Prairie Fire, and Permafrost.