Monday, November 19, 2012

A Bonus Poetry Share!

I just found this and I wanted to share it with you guys because it's beautiful writing and because it justifies not cleaning in the most eloquent way possible.

Advice to Myself

Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic—decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.


A.J. said...

Love the poem. I forgot to mention that Louise Erdrich's Tracks is actually also on the list for Ecocriticism. I think I'll read it after Pi, in which case I'll no longer be craving 3.14 but rather, tracks of any kind - tire tracks, moose tracks, and OH GOD - exercise tracks!!! Thanks for the share, Gen-Genny-Genevieve-Gwenevere.

Kirste Harrison said...

I enjoyed this, and I'm not a fan of poetry! I always worry that I'm going to miss something really important, so unpretentious little beauties like this are priceless for people like me. :P

It reminded me how much I appreciate my dog, too. My kitchen floor is always spotless. :P But I guess that's in exchange for the second layer of carpet that collects in the rest of the house. :)

Genevieve said...

AJ- I think you'll like Tracks. I read it about 15 years ago, but I still think of some of the characters every now and then. There were some powerful images.

Kirste- I didn't think I liked poetry for the longest time, and then I discovered that there's so much of it that just doesn't get attention. Especially in the last 100 years or so :) So when I find these gems (or what I think to be gems) I showcase them. Glad you liked it.

Constant Wanderer said...

Do you follow Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac too, then?

Genevieve said...

Sarah - Yeah! You read it too? It's how I discovered that I love poetry.

Constant Wanderer said...

Yes! A friend of mine just turned me on to that podcast. But this blog - - is how I discovered I love poetry. She writes beautifully herself, but mostly shares poetry. She did one just the other day about New Orleans, as a matter of fact.