Monday, June 29, 2009

You learn a lot when you clean out a house

A few years ago it came time to clear out a house in Carlisle, Pa. that had belonged to one of my aunt's. Doing much the same at my parents' house now.

It is quite easy to accumulate things over the years. A lot of it is stuff that needs to be hauled away, but now and then you find items that should be preserved.

Came across some photos my dad had stashed away. Photos of him and some friends having a night out at the original Birdland jazz club in Manhattan. My mother never saw the photos either. It's funny how we can squirrel away pieces of personal history. I'd liked to have heard stories about that place.

Don't know what else will turn up as we get the place emptied, the experience though is helping with my work on Heritage House I think.

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away