Friday, September 09, 2005

Ode to a Houseguest

Some people have a way of growing on you, endearing themselves to you no matter how intent you are on despising them.

Crispy Bangs, my brother's girlfriend, camped out at our house this last winter, trying my patience, getting on my last nerve, and testing my very tentative belief in the sanctity of human life. It was a stressful time for me. But a tiny shred of compassion allowed me to see how difficult was for her as well. She was homeless, unemployed, battling addiction, trying to keep a new relationship together, and tripping over eggshells as an unwelcome guest in my home.

She couldn't make herself unobtrusive, so she made herself useful. Cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, pulling weeds-- the kid is a hard worker. She's also a compulsive hoarder, saving plastic yogurt containers, and packing the fridge with souvenirs from yesterday's lunch at Red Robin or dinner at Original Taco House-- leftover cheese, olives, and soy sauce, whatever. Yet, in the midst of incredible hardship, insanity, and cramped living quarters, she managed to inspire this week's poem, written in March of this year.

By the way, if you hate waiting until Friday to have whatever good taste you've cultivated assaulted by my meandering bombast, head over to my Blood Blog

Remember those “magic paintings” that revealed a 3-D picture if you stared at them, letting your eyes go out of focus and blur? My poetry is best appreciated after a drink, and accompanied by dirgy, minor key music, like say, Lisa Gerrard or Gorecki, or the soundtrack to Black Hawk Down. This is the surest way to lose yourself in the benign, gray glyphs of text, before awakening suddenly in an iambic spiritual wasteland.

Both Concedingly & Promotionally,


St. Mary

Mary, Our Lady of the Appliances.
She imbues the long cold coils
with heat and light, committing
herself to caring, from the hard
beginning of sustenance.

Mary, Our Lady of the Groceries.
She is the ever flowing fount
of produce; from her bosom pours
the stuff of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
She feeds the hungry, and fattens
scavenging kittens with a harvest
blooming from cornucopia hands.

Mary, Our Lady of Merciful Gathering.
She collects every plastic little thing,
understanding the value of that
which contains. Every vacant bowl
is a womb, and every orphaned
space will be renewed its purpose.

Mary, Our Lady of Tornadoes,
this tiny whirlwind of spoons
and sauces. It must distract her,
the spinning, the constant movement,
weaving herself out of task
and into chore—it must
put from her mind the memory
of storms much bigger than she.

Mary, Our Lady of the Eternal Washing.
There are always things in need
of cleaning, and those things
have a way of not staying clean.
In her fastidious mission, even
the smallest speck is doomed.

How does a force
of wind and water and
perpetual industry move
through a small house, leaving
it vastly improved?

This is the might and the mystery
of our blessed St. Mary.


Blogger annush said...

awwwwww that's so sweet of you to write a poem about her. I recall reading about her and I really thought you had killed her and buried her in your backyard by now!

10:29 AM  
Blogger KlevaBich said...

You're obviously a kind and tolerant person. Although, I'm thinking even I could probably forgive some trespasses from She who would cook, clean and fold laundry.

I suppose the Pope wouldn't like this poem, but I sure do. Hail Mary and pass the breadsticks.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Queen of the Inane said...

fun...and oddly touching.

8:41 PM  

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