In mid-summer 2016 I threw out everything I had ever written over the previous forty years, save for the poems in this volume. Every word. Thousands of pages of poems, stories, plays and sketches, song lyrics, essays, news articles, experiments, music - all of it in the landfill.What is collected here is all that is left, all that remains of what I have written down of my life. I declared everything else garbage and treated it as such because it was an anchor holding me back.This is the memoir of my former life in verse. This is the hacksaw that will cut me free from that anchor. This is the final box of refuse to be pushed off the tailgate. This is the end of an ordinary life.