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De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Songs of Love and Hate
As I turn to clear
the table, I confront
the two placemats,
side by side, a little
closer than I'd expected.

The left one is dotted
with blood-brown drops.
"Vinegar and oil," I
realize, smiling at the
meaning I've made for

myself. The right one
is dry, but still not clean.
There's a bit of lettuce,
shrunken up like a dark
secret too brittle to unfold,

and a trapezoid of onion
through which the grain
of the mat peers through,
distorted just enough to
make me notice what

I otherwise have learned
not to see. They are
spaced in accordance
with the rule of thirds

which implores us to
avoid the center at all
costs. All I can do is stand
aside and watch.

Current Location: 85712

8 comments or Leave a comment
quuf From: quuf Date: January 22nd, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I love your verse and wish you'd post it more often.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 22nd, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thank you! I have a hard time feeling that I have the right to do poetry. I've been close to people who live and breathe it, so the distance I have from the medium makes me think I'll never be more than a dilettante. But distance is what I need right now, so I'm going to try to immerse myself in it rather than just getting my feet wet now and then.
elf_owl From: elf_owl Date: January 25th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Fuck staying away from things because of others' relationships with them. Your poetry is yours, whether it's your life and breath or just an expression of a moment in that life. Don't let the experiences/relationships/opinions keep you from doing anything that feels right to you.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 25th, 2011 05:41 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's good advice. I'm not sure why I get so hung up on the idea that I might actually "do" poetry instead of dabbling in it. I've been writing, off and on, for over two decades. I took a class with one of the most famous poets of his generation. And I have certainly taught a lot of poetry from the literary analysis perspective. Anyway, none of that really matters. Even if I had no experience and this was my first poem, I should be able to claim the right of self-expression. Thank you for reminding me of that.

(And it's great to see you here.)
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2011 12:08 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Another choice:
don't clear away
other peoples' stuff for them
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 23rd, 2011 05:28 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
But sometimes the table needs to be cleared.
elf_owl From: elf_owl Date: January 25th, 2011 05:24 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I love this.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 25th, 2011 05:38 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thank you so much! I've been in a real desert when it comes to writing, so it was nice to stumble upon this little spring Saturday afternoon. It may not qualify as a true oasis, but I was happy to feel moisture in the air.
8 comments or Leave a comment