chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: door

found poem: to Open

found poem: sneak

found poem: the poem

found poem: I am

found poem: sprightly

found poem: I was

found poem: I HAVE

door…

The barest…

a work…

doors

DAK Hotel Sacher, Vienna 1969It’s a small thing, to knock on a closed door, but in our house it was a rule. A closed door meant Privacy. It meant knock, listen, wait. In our neighbors’ houses, I was amazed that doors seemed mere tissues in the air, without substance or meaning, things to swing aside without thought. Constrained by the constant nibble of small rules, always the good girl, I was envious of this reckless, feral behavior, this bound-less privilege.

But for my mother, who had few boundaries, this was a critical mark of civility, something that separated us from the shouters, the art-less, the bargers-through-doors. It was important, this evidence of etiquette. And she wasn’t wrong; honoring a closed door seems reasonable and polite.

But what she was trying to keep out — the foul air of an untold hurt, pain, fear, loneliness — had no respect for doors or rules. It invaded, inopportune, and smeared itself on everything.

. . . . .
photo: Dorothy gazes out, Hotel Sacher, Vienna, 1969

I was…

to explore…

symptoms…

layers…

fragments…Georgia

Georgia is at least 80. She’s small – certainly not more than 5 feet tall. From across the street, when I see her bending over her dahlias and tomatoes, she looks substantial, even chunky. But when she appears at my door, I see that she’s compact and worn. Even swaddled in layers of sweaters and jackets, there’s really not a whole lot to her.

Her hair is cropped in a serviceable cut, steel gray, less gray than my own. Her face is a mass of wrinkles etched there by her genes, her mobile expressions and her endless hours in the garden.

Even after 45 years in the U.S., her sentences are broken, her syntax entirely Greek. She fills in the blanks in her phrases with huge gestures, her arms reaching out to show the words she can’t find.

She comes to talk to me about her broken garage door, to examine mine to see how a working door should look. She tells me a long story about the door going up and down, about the wood, about her husband crashing the car into the door, about the door not closing and, finally, today, about the door not opening.

It’s a lot to say with so few words, but her hands sketch the story, faithful interpreters. I nod and nod, urge her along with a word here and there when she’s struggling, sympathize, but can’t help her solve this latest in what must be a lifetime of frustrations.

She must pray, every night, that she’ll wake up in Greece surrounded by sunshine, her garden fat with cucumbers and tomatoes, the car and the rental property and the broken fence and the garage door an annoying dream.

trying to write…1

Words chop onto the page, graceless, chilly, distracted.

Start over. Begin something else. Begin. Shake the blanked mind for the kernels that didn’t pop. Spill something else onto the page: a situation, a character, a word, an elephant. Leave it there. Go on. Work it. I walk to the door, put my hand on the knob, turn it, then let go, turn away. Go through the door. Go through the door.

     ~ trying to write…2

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