New Poem

Always, There’s Something

Every house hides a story—
ask it about the grout
the knots in the hardwood floor
the dirty secrets we share
between the sink and the sponge.

Days press down on me
like an iron on a silk blouse.

First there are the insufficient wants:
stockpiles of clothes and toys,
movie ticket stubs from 1986
pictures of people I loved once.

And then there is this need
to ask for help, to be impoverished.
I talk to the closet, tell the clothes
my story—they send their regrets,
say, “don't dust anything taller
than your tallest friend.”

Always there’s something
wanting to be something else.
A glass cake dome
becomes a tabletop garden
—a hothouse for baby tears
is a blessed moment of escape.

I have worked on this poem so long that I've put more effort into it than I should. Feedback welcome, but I'm probably going to put it away and never look at it again. Still, it's good to post things that don't work as well as the ones that do. New poem coming for Poetry Thursday.


ecm said…
I really liked this...maybe because I've been in the midst of moving and renovating but to me it conjures the tension of both the things we collect in a house and the wanting to rid ourselves of stuff. That is certainly a tension I feel to keep memories and yet wanting freedom from stuff.
bb said…
*Days press down on me
like an iron on a silk blouse*

Oh I am that wife and mother too!

I think (as you no doubt already know!!) that houses/homes and the distinction between are such a strong theme in your poetry of late, that it's really quite exciting because i feel like I see the theme of your first collection unfolding :-)

Any luck sending any poems out yet?
January said…
Thanks EMC. I think you're right, having a lot of stuff does create tension. Hope your move-in and renovation process is quick and painless

BB: Yes, I seem to be writing about houses and homes, but I can't seem to write about much else. I'm also writing less narrative work. I'm hoping that the Dodge Festival will spark my creativity.

As for sending poems, I've sent out work to 4 different journals and have not heard anything yet. I need to send out more work but I haven't had the time.

Are you sending your work out for publication?
deirdre said…
I like it. Especially "I talk to the closet, tell the clothes
my story—they send their regrets". It's such a clear image, and something I can imagine actually happening in my closet.
bb said…
In reply - yes i'm just starting to. I think it's about time to get this show on the road ;-)

Popular Posts