Poem for Poetry Thursday

I was inspired by a piece read by Vito Salm at last night's NEWS reading. I've posted pictures from the event here.

This poem was fun to write but I'm still working on the order. The spellings should be correct so if you have any questions about individual labels, let me know.

Happy Poetry Thursday everyone!

Labels People Have Given Me over the Years

Boo Boo • Baby girl • January • Daughter • Jan-i-wan • Grandbaby • Cousin • Good eater • Jan • Kindergartner • A handful • Stanley’s girl • The new girl • Catholic school girl • Hard-headed • Ugly • Slim • Skinny • Stick • Stick girl • Sounder • Brownie • Toastmaster runner-up • Liar • Angel Gabriel in the Christmas pageant • Choir girl • Gracie • Pianist • Junior • Thief • Duranie • Flat-chested • Student driver • Concessionist • January-February • Black girl • Nigger • Couch potato • Honors student • President of the Spanish club • Friend • Whitney Houston • Wannabe • Island Jan • High school graduate • Persistent • African American • Assistant manager • Gen-Xer • Drunk Girl • Virginian • Card-carrying Democrat • Mudpuppy • College graduate • Entry level • Moviegoer • Virgin • Person of color • New Yorker • January • Poet • College graduate • Customer service representative • Anemic • Tawdry wench • Admin assistant • Dragback • Taken • Inappropriate • Babe • Girl Friday • Rude bitch • Fiancé • Bostonian • Marketing assistant • Web editor • Wise guy • Creep • Sister-in-law • Auntie Jan • Mrs. O’Neil • Daughter-in-law • Sweet baby • Writer/editor • Up-and-commer • Preferred shopper • Carnivore • Person of interest • Snorer • Good eater • Speedy • Snoopy • Preggers •Big as a house • Member of the 100,000-mile club • Homeowner • Neighbor • Ambitious • Nigga •Queen of the universe • Red Sox fan • Big as a house • Senior writer/editor • Mourner • Award-winning poet • Elastigirl • Rock star • Good cooker • Mommy


It seems we all get labels over the years but don't sit down and write it all. You did a good job out of it. A few take the cake! I wouldn't like to repeat those here..

Infact you got me thinking with this post.

I must do it too though I might not post.
Anonymous said…
Love this piece! Thanks again for all your support last night.
rel said…
That's neat. I'm not sure my memory will allow me to do such a comprhensive list, but I'm inspired to give it a try!
bookbinds said…
Wow, this is quite a list. I always find labels fascinating because people have this desperate need to box people into tight categories and typecasts.
Writer Bug said…
I love this! I might steal the theme for tomorrow's post. And it was such fun hanging out last night! Thanks for organizing such a great event.
Jim Brock said…
A rose is a rose is rose is a rose is a rose is a rose is a Gertrude Stein is a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.

I believe, absolutely believe, in everyone of those labels being true, true, true.
Wow. I kept waiting for POET. And you saved it for the end--not the Grand Finale, mind you, but there was definitely that tension, that build-up of anticipation! Good job!
January said…
Thanks Pepek! It was fun to write something like this because it's loose but has a chronological order to it. I really had to think about what people have called me over the years. My story is in these words.
Catherine said…
I don't think I could come up with that many labels1 I don't even seem to have an official job title, when I harrass our customers for overdue payments I make up whatever seems most appropriate at the time :)
I did have a few uncomplimentary nicknames in my school years. My father-in-law used to say "You can call me whatever you like, but don't call me 'late for breakfast' "
mareymercy said…
I agree this is a wonderful idea - I actually think my students would even enjoy doing this!
Anonymous said…
Yes, Vito's piece struck me, too. It was also great to meet you in person.oiqcfsl
Alex said…
You forgot Uber-Jan
Blogger? Poet Mom?

Okay. I am trying this today....
Deb said…
What a great idea and a wonderful poem.

I was captivated by the changes, the repetition; amused by some (A handful!), confused/bemused (Person of interest), and saddened (Mourner).

I'm gonna try this myself! I'm curious if you agreed with all the labels. Did you censor? (It didn't seem like it, but I don't know you beyond the pages of this blog--sorry for getting personal.)
January said…
Deb, I love your new avitar (I think that's what the pictures are called).

Interesting question. I think I agreed with most of the labels. I like that some (Person of interest) are open to interpretation. Can't say that the I agree with labels like the N-word. But can't argue with couch potato or snorer!
January said…
Alex and Pepek, more labels ... Thanks! I must add them right awat.

The funny thing is that as soon as I'm finished with the list, I thiknk of another label.
Anonymous said…
That photo of me & Erin's Frank is pretty funny/horrific.


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