Writing 201 Poetry Task 8 (Drawer)

I just wrote this inventory-poem in response to Writing 201 Poetry Task 8, which asked participants to clear out a drawer and describe its contents. I found this task especially instructive and productive. I was not only inspired to clear out a drawer I haven’t opened in ages, but also shocked by the way the accumulation of objects and the way I choose to describe them build up a faithful but far-from-flattering form of poetic self-portrait.

Stuff stuffed in a drawer

A July 2009 electricity bill

Three old adhesive bandages that have still not lost their stick (two now I just tested one)

A worn leather wallet full of faded receipts, blank check-stubs and unused business cards

First drafts of apologetic notes left by semi-literate maids

A pub calendar

Expired aspirin

A packet of spring onion seeds

The incomprehensible instructions to an old cell phone

Rubber bands melted by the heat

Long-since dried out pens gifted by friends

Earphones and one-armed sunglasses

Annoying-sounding wind chimes

A Zippo lighter and a key-ring bunged up by rust

A succinct birthday note from an ex

Plastic parts whose function is now obscure

A list of poems (some unwritten) for inclusion in a book

A scratchily written film review and a sketch of TV script

Emails from a probate lawyer printed out on sky-blue paper

A single loose paperclip

A green highlighter pen still in its packaging

A 2007 charity Christmas card from a work colleague (candles, holly, pine-cones, baubles, painted with mouth and feet)

Dust and sand

A plaster of Paris statuette of an angel with a clipped wing and one leg broken off

A single roulette chip

The handle of the drawer

Page 22 of the screenplay of Casablanca [beginning “I’ll get it from the safe”,

ending “Rick: I stick my neck out for nobody.// Renault: A wise foreign policy.”]

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6 thoughts on “Writing 201 Poetry Task 8 (Drawer)

  1. I just loved the ‘handle of the drawer’. And the rest, what a great picture (reminds me of a much loved sister). Thanks for the follow – I somehow missed you on Poetry 201, so many people to read, so little time, now I can read some more of yours.

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