Fuse #8

Friday, June 08, 2007

Poetry Friday - The Collected Works of Susan Ramsey


From Poetry Northwest, Fall 2001

A Mind Like This

is like looking through that drawer

for Scotch tape and coming up instead

with the instructions for the digital watch

you threw away three years ago, a maze

made of cheap pink plastic and three ball bearings,

the scissors you warned them were only for fabric, a roll

of the paper tape they gave you to close your eye

for sleep that spring you had Bell's Palsy, and half

a pack of basil seeds.

It's missing the Big Play because you're busy watching

the lovers quarrel two rows down, look up

as the crowd surges to its feet around you,

touchdown. It's knowing they used sets from King Kong

as tinder for the burning of Atlanta

while being uncertain of your best friend's birthday,

forgetting the name of your fifth niece, but knowing Carlo

was Emily Dickinson's dog. When a mind like this

hears that Burleigh Grimes was the last pitcher

to throw a legal spitball in '43,

you'd think it had spotted a sapphire in the gravel.

It's saving pocket lint and bottle caps

while bread and diamonds thunder down the chute.

It's a theater where pleasure and frustration

are mutual understudies, a computer

which refuses to interface seven fifteenths of the time.

It's dutifully viewing the list of cathedral features

in Strasbourg, then watching the memories dragged like sand

from a beach besieged by wave after wave of years,

until only a bit of carved stone remains, a fragment

small enough to lodge in a human heart.

Of course you didn't take a photograph.

And of course sensible friends return with cameras

full of statues and windows and twenty-foot clocks,

asking vaguely, "Where was that again?"

Be comforted. This ridiculous mind will save

your incised memory of the tenth pulpit step,

preserving for you how some particular hand

carved under a stone leaf, small in all that grandeur,

his round-skulled puppy, sleeping, chin on paws.

This week's round-up courtesy of Hip Writer Mama.

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At 2:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this one's my favourite. I can see a lot of myself in it.


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