Sunday, June 19, 2005

Pretentious, Moi?

I’ve never been able to drum up any enthusiasm for poetry. How well I remember dragging my ass through several required poetry classes in college, bullshitting my way to the end of the semester. To this day, I’ve never quite gotten poetry, with the possible exception of William Blake and one or two of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself just itching to write poetry after I read a marvelously evocative little poem LeLo wrote with the help of a nifty plug n’ play poem template. All you need are some family memories and you’re ready to roll. Note: This is probably the only poem you will ever encounter on this blog (this isn’t the beginning of an alarming new trend). Poem may well be too strong a word. What I've written below is quite possibly just narcissistic malarkey, but it sure was fun to write!*

Where I’m From
I am from Lower Thermostat (Motto: “Put on a sweater!”), from orange Tang and Carnation Nonfat Dry Milk. Never the Real Thing--not in our house anyway.

I am from sloppily painted yellow kitchen cabinets, orange draperies dreadful with dust, and scratchy burlapesque upholstery. From rye toast with butter, Hurricane Duck, and failed fondant.

I am from the six silver maples, the half-finished compost heap of grass clippings, orange peels, eggshells, watermelon rinds, and volunteer Beefsteak tomatoes.

I am from spark-spitting sparklers on birthday cakes and family bike rides to the outer fringes of suburbia, where the riding mowers and station wagons ended and the soybeans and horses began. From Evangeline and Buzzie and Unk.

I am from the county of Conflict Avoidance and the territory of Treble Clef.

From “many hands make light work” and “cleaning up is half the fun.”

I am from Catholicism Lite: Less guilt; more Holy Days of Obligation.

I'm from Hell with Humidity: crackling cornfields and neglected antique shops--by way of the doomed tenements of the Gorbals.

From Joanne, lead tenor sax in the Musical Sweethearts all-girl dance band, who traveled the South in a bus so old and feeble the girls had to get out and walk whenever the bus encountered a hill. And from Father William who walked 80 city blocks for a dozen fresh donuts and ate them all on the way back home.

I am from the middle drawer of a battered coffee table, the top shelf of a haunted closet, and the core of a ripening Macintosh.

Intrigued? Nonplussed? Confused? In need of the Cliffs Notes? Then, I encourage you to take a look at the template and try writing your own version. If nothing else, it will give you an excuse to take a stroll down Memory Lane.

*I know I went a bit overboard with the alliteration.


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