The Apostrophe Blog
In Summer 2015, my poem with the crazy long title, “Faced with a Towering Stack of Rubbermaid Bins, the Lifelong Incunabulist Contemplates (Yet Again) How Best to Deal with Four Decades of Notebooks that Require Destruction before the (Inevitable) End”1 was published in the Disobedient2 issue of Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry.
Poemeleon was founded in December of 2005. Each issue is devoted to a specific kind of poetry. The first issue, dedicated to the poetry of place, launched in June 2006, with subsequent issues dedicated to different kinds of poetry. I am pleased to say that since the poem was published in 2015, I have made progress in dealing with the accumulations. In fact, I spent my sixtieth birthday later that same year burning a stack of notebooks in a galvanized steel trash can on a wet and windy beach in Gearhart, Oregon—a day that included battling gale-force winds! Last winter, during another patch of unseasonably cold and wet days, I tackled another batch. Who ever said poetry doesn’t lead to taking action in life?
Faced with a Towering Stack of Rubbermaid Bins, the Lifelong Incunabulist Contemplates (Yet Again) How Best to Deal With Four Decades of Notebooks that Require Destruction before the (Inevitable) End
Obviously, there have been too few bonfires in my life.
So much to cinder, volumes to blacken a sky!
Think: miles. Think: underbelly & lost
This me fussing about proof,
debating the evidence—yes or no?—
to flame. By now,
I ought to be second-degree,
resident in a sisterhood of ooze.
For forever, it seemed easier:
seal the secrets, wait for their all
When did it grow unviable
to track the wagon
trains of worded bliss,
my every attempt at record
stacked in color-coded
coffins made from purloined oil
then trucked across the American steppes?
Call me one smoking mess of crazy, call me
kindled & caught. For kindling seeks fire
and every Tuesday’s offering
has its jake brake to remind: roll
the recyclables cart you could fill with
a paper logjam
to the curb.
The mere trick may be
getting each match
to ignite then leap—past the late
Middle English: bone + fire.
See, I was never a pot/brush/scarlet-
orange persimmon with a cattail or a cat.
Or a room without a clock, a glass door
into the handily smashed, the housebroken in.
My marrow: self
-deprecation eager to end up
calcified salts in a potter’s field.
Where every non
sequitur fills the burn
barrel with regret.
the chatter, the talk.
Think: a piddling. Think: conflagration