I have taught today a workshop,
the first in a series of ten, to four
students. Two ex-cons, who until
recently could only be woken by
their families with broomsticks,
and two women: the first recalling
the latest Anne Frank biopic, the
Dutch attic of her own childhood,
the second claiming survival with
no specificity. Both leaving the
larger room we work in for the
smaller kitchen from time to time.
I have purchased today for one fifth
of a dollar my first home: secondhand
ceramic: a series of lines carved into
the base of an ashtray. Door, windows,
weather-board exterior, chimney,
its stack of bricks against the lip
as if to salute habit. It is the mark
of its maker, his or her disabled
hand and its spasm of hospitality.
Thinly glazed, turquoise seeping
into each recess, its two dimensions
three, in the fourth of my imagining.
One quarter of the lake today cursing
the wind, the product in my hair, its
false promise of "control". Searching
for a convenience. A receptacle
for the vessel in my hand. Calculating
and miscalculating what I will earn
from this, the latest in a series of casual
positions that tax me at a higher rate.
I am not in love, though contemplating
a collaboration with a Singaporean poet.
Still this now -- the body's boathouse jutting
into distance, water lapping the floorboards.