>where did sugar on a rope come from?


He told me potatoes were complicated. I know this is true because I wrote it on a scrap of paper and saved it in my back pocket. Some conversations later, I retreived the scrap of paper from the lint trap in my dryer. Apparently I had laundered the words when I washed my jeans. The scrap of paper looked a bit like this former leaf, except I could see these words in faded ink: potatoes are complicated and some poems are born in badness.

The trouble is I cannot remember the  conversation that produced these quotes. I don’t remember anymore where these words came from.

Do you have such scraps of paper? I don’t always know what to keep and what to let go. I’m not the sort to let anything go. There are scraps of paper all over my house. For example, these are the words next to my kitchen sink: We don’t even need to talk about houses on the hill.

And so, (leap with me now) the next photo illustrates the hanging on and the not knowing when to let go.

When he talks to me, he uses panoramic strokes, coaxing me to see the big picture. And for a bit of time, I am right there with him, seeing the big picture. And in fact, I am enjoying the wide view his words offer:
 then something happens as we keep talking, as if we go around a bend, chattering and laughing but
then the poetry-gene activates

and the next thing I know I am on my knees,
examining something minute, something telescopic:

and later, I will find more random words on scraps of paper:
sugar on a rope, failed harbor
What does it mean to want to be heard?
little men lined up like starfish on the edge of a tidal pool
Did anything happen in 1882?
Some of these words will find homes in my poems. Some of these words will end up as lint in my dryer.And (I am sorry to admit) I am not likely to remember the walk along the river, the wide blue sky, the way back to my car. I won’t  remember taking the above pictures.

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

8 responses to “>where did sugar on a rope come from?

  1. >Oh, I love this. I call these kinds of expressions Poemophoty. It's a finished product right there.I have bits written all over the place – in my purse – in my pockets – on the counter – in drawers. Sometimes, like when I cut random words out of a magazine, I just put them all together and try to make a poem out of them. I have a friend who is an oil painter and I watched him once, take his brush and splatter little dots of paint all over what I thought was a finished painting. He said he always did this to add interest to the work. He would work these splatters in and it would give a whole new dimension to his painting. I like to think my splatter of words onto a page has the same potential for depth.Thank you so much for your comments on my poems. It is much appreciated.

  2. >I would like to order your book from you, but I see no email address on your profile page. There is one on mine, if you would like to contact me.

  3. >hi kass~well it is good to hear that you have bits written all over too! your story about the painter who splatters a "finished" painting is inspiring. would love to see that. one splatter leads to another if we keep our spirits open. it sounds to me as though he is showing us there are more than three dimensions, eh?i'm so pleased you'd like a copy of my chapbook. you can email me and we can exchange info.i will find your email address and send you particulars. (and i guess i could add my email address to my blog) (redmittengirl at yahoo dot com)

  4. >Thanks for the email address. I've read most of the poems linked to this blog on your side bar and made this list:Lines that leapt from the page to my throat:…last time I hiked this eroded path, he was what was gone….the blessing in every fifth wind….he admitted to wandering. But no he never strayed….unglued stars….wings beat the sunset on still water.BRAVO. I'm a fan….he whispers to my fear….how to get to where you never wanted to go….yes baby yes come home….she never gives out what she wants back….beggar limbs….backwash we call night….we practice our sorrow early….my disregard beats his….what snap little girls had then….but that wasn't your leg around him….you learn there's four verses to the song….why a book gets tossed if a dog is never found….listen to the inside of a star by sending out waves of sound….the sound September makes.and the way all of The Year Of the Tree is crafted.It's official. I'm a fan.

  5. >kass,well i am touched that you spent time with these poems and shared the lines that leaped at you. no better compliment than that. i've been in a down cycle in writing poetry, but your comments have encouraged me to see about letting the poetry loose from all those scraps of paper i have everywhere.regarding the year of the tree- i am so glad that poem spoke for you. i'm nodding my head as i write this. it's a *been there, done that* nod. keeping a tree up til march was a rather liberating moment in my life, turns out. at the time, it didn't seem so, but as time went on i was able to measure the growth in my life, using that "year of the tree" as the BC and AD measurements.

  6. >I love: "some poems are born in badness…."I'm tempted to steal, uh, appropriate? it!

  7. >rose-well (shhh) i have the best source of lines that i frequently appropriate. when he talks to me, he has no idea that he is a talking walking poem. sometimes even a short story. when i bring this to his attention, and offer to pay him a commission for the lines of his i'd like to sneak off with, he is generous and says i can take whatever i want. *sigh* i'd enjoy seeing what you do with that line.

  8. >thanks Kass – those leaping lines grab my throat too.Prior to coming here, I discovered via a news report the guy at myexwifesweddingdress.com, and I had been thinking that he was 'poetic', as in Sherry's above 'sometimes poetry comes from bad places' (and I took 'bad' to mean 'negative', and in case you don't know, he is overcoming being dumped, by using her dress to wash the car, as a dropcloth when painting, etc. If The Dress symbolises The Bride coming to the marriage, it also can symbolise her Leaving The Marriage.)he made me laugh and empathise, and that's poetic.He is doing what Sherry noted -"getting to a place you didn't want to go".

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