In search of story


Connections: June 11.17

At the corner of Useless and Broken

near the Unresolved/Hopeful junction

a city of storage arises

awaiting its Extreme Unction.

Fragments and miscellany

tethering us to — what? —

the past? a loss? a wish?

a monument to glut?

Irony in cubes:

crowded emptiness

in corrugated sepulchre

I own my need for less.





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Connections: May 9.17

My grandma had a tiny house

if you take a yardstick measure

but it was huge in other ways:

curiosity and treasure.

The coolest stuff was hid away

but I knew where to find it

and she would let me hold it

and tell the tale behind it.

Now I’m packing up my house

which means, I’m sure you know,

packing up my family

striving to let go.

Memories sneak in everywhere

in closet and in drawer

one thing leads to another

as I’m sorting on the floor.

You will understand, I’m sure,

I hyperventilate

when I note the Christmas card box:

45 for $1.98!

And thus do different eras

re-tell themselves to me

as I wrap the family flotsam

as if crown jewelry.



Connections: April 20.17

Cold recurring thought

from which there’s no escape:

is this what it all comes down to —

bubble wrap and tape?

Is this how I preserve

bits of family lore?

I must insist on NO:

that’s what my words are for.

Wrapping family hand-me-downs

in paragraphs and pages

is how we bubble-wrap

our stories for the ages.

Who cares? you ask. Who’s going to read?

Oh, someone will, somewhere —

a curious, amused

incredulous distant heir.

The unknown genealogist

no matter he or she

doubtless brilliant, charming

in fact, a lot like me.

And thus my thoughts run on

unburdening shelves and drawers

caught between the memories

and the unknowable encores.



Connections: April 10.17

Besides the joy

of first gardening day

a melancholy


nongardeners lived here

and I knew when I bought

that “labor intensive”

described what I got.

So a mountain of mulch

an ocean of sweat

has been my investment

and I’m not done yet.

But it’s time to sell the house

to younger legs and hands

with a sense of deep injustice

that a gardener understands:

the walls and roof and porch

will all in sale combine

but these roots, this earth, these worms

are ever eternally mine!



Connections: March 26.17

The Word of the Day, orogeny,

 is from geological lore.

It refers to upheaval of mountains

and to my home decor.

Upheaval is the leitmotif

that thrums through every room

clutter, heaps, and mayhem

clumps of boxes bloom.

My metaphors are mixed

and fitting they be so:

this inside-out and upside-down

gives me vertigo.

I hate this fraught dystopia

but it’s the price I have to pay:

sometimes a tidy tomorrow

requires a messy today.