A self portrait poem

A good poem needs no explanation. This is not a good poem. But the explanation for it is better than the thing itself. This video was featured on the “RadioLab” podcast of September 10, 2012 called “What a Slinky Knows.”


I am steel coil

propelled by my own momentum I bounce

I stretch

I am graceful, sinuous—a slinky silver dress

I bend

I curve

I am simple, common

And yet, I can do magic

Dangle me over the edge of a cliff

Until I can extend myself no farther, then release

Me into a state of constant collapse

My top half will fall while my bottom half hovers

Defying the law of gravity

I rotate and contort as the compressions press against me

It takes a lot for me to fall.


  1. Cool photo!

  2. Aw c’mon now, Megan – this is a fine poem! But I am so glad you included the inspiration for it. Wow. Who woulda thunk it?? Thanks.

  3. You are a genius.

  4. That was really cool, Megan. All of it – the video and your poem.

  5. charitysingleton says

    I love the poem AND the explanation. You would make a wonderful slinky!

  6. That’s how it is, isn’t it? The constant collapse. The resilience with the fall.Really great.

  7. “A slinky silver dress.” Indeed.

  8. This is super in so many ways. I’m wishing that last line was more applicable to me at this point.