Jane Hirshfield’s Poems Write Their OkCupid Profile

by Tom Kelly

At ODU’s 2014 Lit Fest, I received the honor of interviewing Jane Hirshfield. Jane moves around a lot and is often in multiple places at once, but poetry is one place that she ventures to regularly. Bearing this in mind, I asked her to make an OkCupid profile on behalf of her poems to assess their courting capabilities.


Username: WeDwellinPossibility

Location:  a jar in Tennessee

Distance: 16″, give or take

Age: Anthropocene




1. My Self-Summary:

Being unsummable is our very reason for being.


2. What Im doing with my life

We prefer to be undone, as often and in as many ways as possible.


3. Im really good at

Not saying what we don’t want to say and still being overheard feeling it.


4. The first things people usually notice about me

That they can see us and right through us at the same time.


5. Favorite book, movie, television show, music, and food

We’re, forgive us, more than a bit promiscuous. That list would be Borgesian. But if you happen to like Borges’s poems, we’ll probably get on just fine.


6. The six things I could never do without

Commas, semi-colons, dashes, white space, verbs, nouns.  (We could do without adverbs and exclamation marks if we had to.)


7. I spend a lot of time thinking about

Definite and indefinite articles, verb tenses, possibility, hunger, despair, death, love, justice, the fragility and resilience of the heart, the planet, apricots, horses, and what thoughts not yet thought might still be possible to discover.


8. On a typical Friday night I am



9. The most private thing I’m willing to admit

Truthfully? We consider our life an open book. Reading between the lines is up to you, though.


10. You should message me if

You find spending time in the company of words as pulse-racing as what happens under the sheets.



Tom Kelly loves brunch just as much as the next jaded post-millennial. When he isn’t busy with MFA grad school business, he enjoys playing Tinder, OkCupid, Instagram, and Dragon Age Inquisition. He lives on a steady diet of pizza, black coffee, and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. He is a Libra, INFP, and counter-phobic loyalist. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 94Creations, FreezeRay Poetry, and SplitLip Press’Utter Foolery: Best Global Literary Humor 2015.