What is it about Karen Carpenter and prose poems? The moment I remembered her-or rather, the moment I remembered myself singing her songs-I knew I was inside a prose poem. Karen was famously anorexic, but I'd need space to spread out, say Rainy Days and Mondays. This is not about sadness, though sure, I felt it. This, my friends, is called exuberance. Take it or leave it. I was young without being youthful, if that makes any sense. Same goes for the prose poem. I remember the 1970's: leftover flower power and Richard Carpenter on piano. A white suit with large lapels? I'm sure that's right. I played Little House on the Prairie, which means I dressed the same way Karen did, lugged a bucket uphill. Who said I didn't have fun? This is an essay on What My Summer Meant to Me. Answer: everything. Answer: I was gloriously alone. Was every song she sang a call for help? If that's the way you want to think of it. Me, I don't. I've shaken off more than one tragic look. Did anyone hear me belt out the words? I had perfect pitch, metaphorically speaking, just like Karen's: sweet, low.
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