Category Archives: Thingishness


“Welcome,” said the doormat brightly and the brown boot scraped against it once, twice and disappeared. “I am so tired”, said the doormat wistfully and to no one in particular, “of being treated like a doormat.”

Carry on Luggage

The poetry of carry on luggage was invented by snails, who eschew excess baggage, always travel economy and never with more than they can fit in. To move in this manner through time and space requires self-possession, simple tastes and an extraordinary talent for leaving things behind. (Self-pity, bathrobes, and irrational fears. Also blowdryers, ancient grudges and rearview mirrors).


The poetry of teaspoons sleeps in kitchen drawers. Bright palms perfectly cupped, each in each. Delicate ovals graceful as easter eggs, poised above silver stalks. Lustrous godchild of the gruff shovel. Slender of build and possessed of exquisite table manners. Bred to travel a daily arc, faithful as a bus route. Conveying crystalline commuters to fragrant destinations. Stirring sweet rumors into cups perched like young birds in porcelain nests, their beaks wide open.

Fountain Pens

The poetry of fountain pens is problematic and profound. Anyone who grew up with fingertips stained by the blood of a notoriously leaky nib, and who regularly employed the navy blue sash of a school uniform as an ink blotter, knows this. Knows too they would not trade in their memories for all the ballpoint pens in modernity’s spotless kingdom of convenience (where everything arrives disposable, a dozen to a pack, and distinctly lacking in romance). Remember a rainswept morning when late for the school bus you knelt over the silken depths of a glossy well to refill a forest green wand and rose like a young magician. Capillary action propelling you onto the blank page of day. To write your flawed and perfect story.


The poetry of trains stops young children in their tracks. Rounds mouths into lowercase o’s of delight, lifts dimpled fingers into urgent pointing position. Steel dragon devouring distance. Whistling like urban banshee, streaming like unstoppable sentence across the landscape. Full of rush and rumble and the exotic allure of elsewhere that tugs the human heart. As sure as silver moon reels restless waves to shore.

Old Houses

The poetry of an old house often speaks without meaning to — like the body of an old man. Generously visited by the rumbling intonations of congestion and indigestion. Parts rattle, creak and wheeze as they please. Full of interior conversations; disjoint, cheerful, vaguely embarrassing and in polite company, largely ignored. But no different really from the wind rifling through the leaves of the trees at night. A nonchalant pickpocket whistling under his breath to the tune of lost time.


The poetry of bells speaks in rich tongues of summoning. A pealing appealing, designed to interrupt our tendency to stand and graze. Because life was not meant to be chewed moodily like cud. A ringing stretched taut across the sky hauls us up like bucket out of the deep well of our forgetfulness. Wakes us gently from the mossy stupor of misplaced priorities. Returns us to the central tasks we have grown so gifted at putting off: Breathe. Listen. Love. Again… yes now Again.


The poetry of thumbprints is poetry of our worlds too various to be identical. Tell me Friend, there is One but are there two who can claim they have seen the same God? Newcomers who hear me sing use strange words to echo my song. The tune is still Love. You are upset but only because you are not really listening. Now tell me sweet Friend will you sit in a corner and sulk — or will you come dance the difference?


The poetry of knots is troublesome when found in morning hair. Or as lead butterflies in stomach not to mention roadblocks in throat no word shall pass. And please, lets be clear on our favorite things. Brown paper packages tied up in string can break fingernails. But not all things are meant to come undone. Like pretzels and French horns. Some parts of our lives must remain forever intricate, shiny & unstraightend.

Muted Colors

The poetry of muted colors is the composure of rainbow walking through library. Colors that wear hush like a dim scarf & rimmed glasses. Attractive in a stylish, unsentimental way, careless of attention. Content to bury its face in a dusty book, to speak only when spoken too, and only in measured out whisper. A muted color expertly sidesteps the shrill of saturation, far too well-bred to publicly raise its voice.