Jim Zola

How I Became a Poet At some point pornographybecame boring. Imaginationturned against me. I thoughtabout the person behindthe camera, other lives,the sadness there. I noticedfurniture, posters, a paintedcoffee cup. The first breastI ever saw not my mom’swas in a French magazine.The pages blew downPalmer Avenueone windy afternoon.Greg Rinella caught the firstlike fallout from a smuttyheaven for two nine-year-olds.Lacey lingerie and small printin a foreign language,not that the words mattered to us.Sex was a foreign language.We gathered the scatteringsand took them to our clubhouse,a space above the garage,to put the pages backin order. A few summers later,working odd jobs gardening,cleaning basements, I founda stash of old Playboysin a widow’s house.I put one up my shirtand scurried home to mylocked room. The sadness is thatI remember Miss Decemberbetter than my first kiss.Her white furry earmuffsand furry boots. Her hobbiesincluded archeryand she preferred menwho read poetry. Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook -- The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) -- and a full length poetry collection -- What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC.