Thursday, April 4, 2013

J.K. Durick- Two Poems

J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Juice, Napalm and Novocain, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.  

It’s startling just how little
gets done by a group this size.
Time spent this well, unwisely,
agendas awash in formalities,
intentions, the good and bad
dashed, smashed like dishes,
fine china, like all the stuff
your grandparents left you
and you forgot which box
it was in until it was too late,
like this meeting, all the time
we’ll never get back to use
on something that gets done,
finished like the laundry, or
a work day, or that jigsaw
puzzle that took a whole
winter away, but there it
was, a finished picture of
two kittens and a ball of
yarn getting away from
them, the irony of great art
that forever freezes time
the balance of the past
up against the future, all
that winter summarized
in an accomplishment of
sorts, unlike this meeting
that drags its nails over
chalkboard in our heads,
persists, punishes, pulls
fake rabbits out of its hat,
that top hat it wore when
it arrived, like someone of
note, a dignitary from some
unpronounceable country
that exports some essential
like coffee or daydreams.
This is the kind of gathering
we’ll be at when the bomb
finally drops, when the toxic
air finishes our last gasp, when
the melted icecaps run out
of hope, when all our parking
meters expire, just as the
final meter maid turns the
corner whistling what
passes for a happy tune.   

         Doing Laundry
My clothes know me all too well,
know my routines and misdeeds,
have followed me from dreadful
depths to perilous heights, have
hung around with me and then
again without me, have done their
best to cover my indiscretions and
my missed directions, have joined
my few attempts at fashion, and
have reminded me of my shape
and age. My clothes surround me,
hold me closer than anything else,
touch me in ways that nothing
else can, confine me and confide
in me, take my measure, and will
adjust to me when called upon
to do so. My clothes stay with me
for years, cycle through the seasons,
fade gradually, become old friends
I meet and remember, associate with
dates and places, sadder times and
happier, become the part of them
that I can still manage, can hold in my
hands, can admire or even lament.
My clothes are honest with me, tell
me truths about myself and others,
notice my mood and act out their
part in it, try hard to console me, try
to repair the appearance of things,
try hard to hide those parts of me,
the physical, of course there’s that,
and the emotional and spiritual too.
My clothes accumulate around me,
fill bureau drawers and too crowded
closets, both upstairs and down, fill
bins I’ve labeled and stacked as if
I feared losing track of some essential
pieces of who I am. My clothes are
a nervous habit, a necessary ritual,
moments of indulgence, of reluctance,
a part of me I can wash and dry, fold
carefully and put away for another day.

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