Tag Archives: #grannyhouseprobz

Regular Poem: A Rosebush for Emily 

10 Jul

there’s a moth
that nests in walnut trees
makes a web
in which its numerous young cycle through
their nascence and adolescense
and then sneak out in adulthood
leaving entire branches
silken and draping and drooping
with gauze-covered crispy vacated cocoons
the tree is no worse for it
but it has a look about it

it has a look about it
like the brick wall of a house
overgrown with ivy
the same ivy creeping
all the way around back
up the porch
engulfing like lava
slow and steady and so much

it has a look about it
like dead honeysuckle
which is itself
like a tumbleweed that doesn’t tumble
just a sad carcass on a wooden fence
instead of a ghostly drifter on a forgotten highway

it has a look about it
like a gnarly rose bush
all briar and no beauty
the red seeping out of the flowers
into the vine
or maybe the blood of its victims
pricked on its cacophony of thorns

it has a look about it
like rusty lawn ornaments
and gutters full of accidental compost
and faded furniture
and dust on tile

it has a look about it
of abundance then neglect then decay

it has a look about it

but those moths never hurt anybody

it has a look about it
but don’t we all


Regular Poem: The Breakfast Nook

27 Apr

They took out the breakfast nook
years ago

and in those moments I remember it
those moments not unlike
coming home and as I’m unlocking the door
feeling a shudder in my soul
that I need to check
the answering machine
I don’t have
or that ghost of duty
that pricks me on a Sunday night
that I need to put the trash by the curb
but my trash day
hasn’t been Monday in 15 years

in those moments
I remember it
I remember
I don’t remember much about it

just flashes of images
of people sitting at it
drinking coffee
doing paperwork
reading glasses and trinkets
cluttering the whole corner

and I just want it
so badly
in those moments
when I remember it

a place
in the kitchen
to eat alone
and pay bills
and throw my mail
keep my laptop there
and fresh flowers
a perfect thing
for a spinster in a granny house.

They took out the breakfast nook
and I don’t remember why.
Sometimes I fantasize
I’ll find it
when I finally clean out the garage
and reinstall it
reinstate it.

How long would that take me
How long
until it gives up
and rots beneath a shop vac and some old pool implements?
(They took out the pool
years ago
but pools are so expensive
so much maintenance
an understandable streamlining of assets
but a breakfast nook
just sits there
and serves you silently serenely.)

How long before
it’s just parts
instead of the breakfast nook
it used to be
(if it still exists
in the first place)?

How long before a queen
forced from her throne
living anonymously in the French countryside
starts making crepes
and forgets
how to respond when someone calls her
your majesty?

I should forget I ever saw its face.

They took out the breakfast nook.

What breakfast nook?

Regular Poem: Just Like the Old Days

25 Oct

I knew
several days ago
when he called me
that I would be writing
this poem
or some poem
very similar to it.

And here we are
smoking cigarettes
and drinking beer
and telling stories.

His stories are
cop stories,
stories of
one of these things is not like the other,

stories of
and crazies
and low-income housing.

And I am a sponge
but an inefficient and drunk one
absorbing and not absorbing,
everything slopping out of me
because the sponge is
saturated already.

And at the end I’m
driving home
giggling uncontrollably
at my life
and the way it’s turned out.

He saved
all my old report cards.
and they all
tell a story of their own.

He saved
all my old IEPs
and they
tell a story of their own.

He also saved
my mother’s glamour shots
from JC Penney
and they tell
a story, too.

And here I am,
still giggling.

And when two weeks later
I look at my garage–
you know my granny garage,
teeming with granny garbage,
trinkets and tools and trash–
and there is somehow
and the yawning mouth of it
opens at me,
yowling at me that it is not yet
and it could use
a 30-year old chest of drawers
and a few more boxes of junk,

I will laugh and tell it no,
tell it I will be excising
those tumors.

And it will laugh back
and tell me
I’ve never excised anything ever,
and why would I start now?

And I will laugh again
but only because
I won’t be woman enough to cry.

Book 'Em, Jan O

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