“Will did not know what to say, since it would not be useful for him to embrace her slippers, and tell her that he would die for her . . . it was clear that she required nothing of the sort. . .” –Middlemarch, George Eliot
Yet why not embrace her slippers?
Why not risk the possibility
Of saliva trickling upon satin
Or tapestry or whatever blessed
Shoe covering one might wear
In a 19th century novel weighing
In at 4.2 pounds, 852 pages? Continue reading →
I am making some cards and card booklets for Valentine’s Day for my sister’s shop. So I have been composing little love poems to put in them. It’s a bit hard to write a love poem nowadays. Everything has been said. Or has it? Continue reading →
I have completed my first exhibit in the museum. It is called Marginalia—and it was inspired by Billy Collins’ poem of the same name and made possible by a 1928 textbook called Selections from English Literature. This textbook, which I bought in a Salvation Army in Bartlesville, around 1998, is littered with marginalia written by its owner, one Irene Chaffee. Continue reading →
You don’t need to love the old man.
Just move his boots out of the way
so neither of you trip over them.
Ask the cook to send the boy out
to find the leeks he likes the best.
Move the curtain on the bed a few
inches to one side, clip it there.
Turn away when he coughs
and the sputum slips out his mouth. Continue reading →
When I return to you, I will remember
My life before the mountain. I will soak
The western wind, the dark musky nights,
The fall, the trials, and those who played
A part all together in the river
Behind our house where I spent
Those days you were not real to me.
I will never pull them out,
Never clip them to a line to dry,
Never fold and put them away. Continue reading →