Tag Archives: prose poem

wood would knot

It’s a reminder of dead branches in a tree trunk.
A natural thing. When processed and managed, it is a would-be imperfection that could be nice to look at, causing a waving grain, adjusted in directions exploited by purpose. It is decorative and agile in its language, but still a defect.

A flaw to the strength of wood, it leads to weakness for tensile and compression, especially when under perpendicular forces or being pulled in opposition. This would be structurally unsound to build upon. The knot can lead to cracks and would not be of benefit in building because of the warp, the check and the shakes.

Some who construct would know the impact.
In a dissonant chord, it is the note that sings loudest and rings a disjointed sound.
In a poem, it is the missing iamb of a sonnet, tripped and stumbled upon. In a house, it is in the failing wall or a cracking joist, unable to stand the weight of heavy burden.
In speaking-it is missing a word and rushing over – leaving a hole. Such work is helpless and unsound.

What remains would not be usable.


Several days ago, I discovered a fly in the bottom freezer drawer,
-dead from cold- beneath the packaged, leftover gumbo made with a roux, the kind that must be stirred slowly – simmering on low heat- so that it does not burn.
Claudia crossed her hands as she spoke of her upcoming schedule, the dangers of narcissism,
and the joy of creative moments -her blue eyes betrayed an infatuation with cleverness- and later she cast her burdens on a subscription magazine and a glass of pinot grigio.
Further on that day at the convenience store, after receiving change -76 cents- for the purchase of his lemon-flavored tea and Marlboros, an un-named driver whistled a Meredith Willson tune -to mark his time in the parade of customers- turned and walked out

clearing before the door shut.