Saturday, September 27, 2008


Having celebrated my birthday yesterday, I awoke today with a feeling of relief. Made it through the inevitable (at least, for me) assessment of the year, and my entire life. Managed not to make any sweeping, specific resolutions. I did tell Tom, over shrimp tempura at Ba Sho, that I'd like to get more of my poetry out this year.

Something made me wake up feeling fearless. All the archives boxes in my study closet, the ones full of manuscripts, nostalgia, old letters, term papers---how can anything in them harm me? I felt ready to begin clearing out. Some symbolism had been dissolved. I remembered that in 1978 (!) I had written a poem about storage. Here it is.

Jeanne Desy

After you left, I put it all
in storage, and I disappeared,
paid rent by the month,
never meaning to throw it away.
Everything sat in one locked room,
and I never went there until
after the rains, management
asked me to check for damage.
The first box gave, softened
with age and damp, and
what fell out was as safe and ordinary
as if I had never seen it before.
So I have continued unpacking,
looking for something that matters.
Perhaps over there in the corner
something is sitting, forgotten.
Surely something remains.

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