Tuesday, October 30, 2007


the house stinks of
mental instability, illness
stinks of newspapers
stinks of reclusiveness
closed curtains, wrapped like
the wings of a bat
the house oozes darkness and

newpapers and periodicals cover
every square inch of tabletop and furniture
through the haze of Print
an old television sits silent

'i'm sorry for the mess,' she says
'i've just been busy with all the paperwork
of customs to france.'

she wears a knee-length winter coat
and a scarf
and blue jeans tucked into pink socks
tucked into moon-boots
and her eyes are black olives
behind her wire rim glasses

i nod and say that i've seen worse and
i have, but barely

she is alone and old
and her family (?) has gone back to paris
after hurricanes katrina and rita

'i've been so busy sending money and clothes,'
she says
'i haven't had time to keep the house up but i will,

i nod and say that i've seen worse and
i have, but barely

she follows us outside
through her garage, in which
a celica with a half-amputated front bumper
and newspapers and newspapers and
newspapers reign supreme

'i'm embarrassed by my house.'
she rifles through sheaves of legal papers
'i had to hire a handwriting expert,"
she tells us,
because They were forging my signature in customs.'
the cost of the expert: 1500 dollars
her peace of mind: priced out of her reach

i go back in and turn down her thermostat
--she might forget about it--
--and she might run up the bill--
--and she might get it shut off again--

she flips through the legal papers and
shows me the forgeries
i know not at what i am looking
--nor do i really care--
and so i nod and say, 'yup.'

lost woman
forgotten woman
in an invisble hovel
and i wonder just
how many of them are out there,
flying under the radar of
news at eleven and
two for tuesday pizza deals?


Terry said...

Sometimes Adam, you take my breath away with your words. Sometimes, you get a little freaky and weird on me...... lol But sometimes? wow

Melissa said...

Probably quite a few, unfortunately.

And I agree. Wow. Very well written.

buxindi said...

when i read your work, i invariably see a video in my mind. i can't seem to let go of her. as always, you made your words come to life. was it real?

BottleBlonde said...

the house stinks of mental instability

Seriously. You need to stop sniffing my curtains.

Tirzah said...

You're amazing Adam...write a book already! Seriously.

aleximac said...

VERY good poem. Even Sean said "nice piece of work". We are impressed. That was a very good poem, Adam.

The One and Only A said...

Teresa: Me? Freaky?! :-P Thanks for the compliment.

Missy: Yeah, it surprises me and makes me think whenever I have to deal with a customer who is so far outside of "Normality."

Boo-Boo: 'Twas real. Some older lady (around 65 or 70?) living by herself, in Bloomfield, on Burnham Street, near Maple and Telegraph.

Bottleblonde: Haha! You said "smelling my curtains." Why do I take that in the way that I take that? Because, apparently, I am a dog. :-P

Thanks, Tizzy. =o)

What?! Even SEAN said that?! Well, it must have been pretty good...he usually so hates my work! ;-)

Corwin Elliott said...

I'm so gonna use this for my homework for me (German) English lesson at school (We're reading Auster's Moon Palace and it fits somehow) and get totally good marks for this...

Nah, not really... but you're a genius. That poem of yours is fuckin class!

T said...

oh, yeah, Baby, you're freaky all right. ;)

cassandra said...

This is really good. Like really really good.

The One and Only A said...

Sweet, T! I love to fly my Freak Flag! ;-)

Cassy: Welcome to the madness. =o) And thanks for the kind words. Please. Do come again.

Me_Again said...

Very well written! At first, I thought you was a-talkin' bout me. HA!
"Please excuse my mess".
Then, I got to the part about moon boots...Nah.

The One and Only A said...

Corwin: Thanks for the props, man.

Meeg: Not. Even. Close. :-P

oestrebunny said...

that was really good Adam.

Nanette said...

Beautiful Adam.

And, I'm in full agreement with Melissa--way too many for sure.

The One and Only A said...

Thanks, Bunny.

Thanks, Nighthawk. Yeah: Old and alone really sucks ass.

kristina said...

If this were flickr, I'd favorite this post. Seriously. It's sad, that's for sure. Old and forgotten.

Also... I love, love, looove that keychain. Love.

The One and Only A said...

Thank you KId. And, yeah, the keychain. My sister Alexis gave it to me last Christmas. I like it, too. =o)

autumnanjel said...

very beautiful. But it is also kind of sad. To be all alone in the world and nobody to listen to you except someone coming over to deliver a public service.

The One and Only A said...

My thoughts exactly, Lisa. What makes it worse is that quite a few of those public service workers have a mighty cantankerous attitude. :-P