Thursday, December 30, 2010
Louise Erdrich Reruns: Advice to Myself & Grief
I love these poems so much, I'm going to repost them. I posted them early this year, in January. I was just reading the comments from Renee and reminiscing about how terribly fragile life is. Blessings---
Advice to Myself
By Louise Erdrich
Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.
~From: "Original Fire: New and Selected Poems", page 149
By Louise Erdrich
Sometimes you have to take your own hand
as though you were a lost child
and bring yourself stumbling
home over twisted ice.
Whiteness drifts over your house.
A page of warm light
falls steady from the open door.
Here is your bed, folded open.
Lie down, lie down, let the blue snow cover you.
"But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think." ~Lord Byron