Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The End of the World


In a collection of poems and photographs thrown together a while back with a very primitive printing and publishing process, only two copies exist, one of which is lost, this photograph figured in it with the caption : The End of the World

Something about this abandoned shopping cart lying in a flooded parking lot spoke volumes to me, and the notion that all things must come to pass, including shopping carts, has haunted me ever since; and years later, a poem of the same name was written :

The End Of The World

We went today to clean out
Her mother’s apartment
The movers had already been
The place was nearly bare
And though it was not
The end of the world
I could see it from there

A place once full or warmth and life
Meals rolling out of the kitchen
Onto the long table
The family gathered around
Plants, and paintings on the walls
Armoires full of silverware and plates
Bottles of wine and dusty books
The tiny bedrooms harboring secrets
A crucifix on the wall
Proclaiming faith in something
Damp towels hanging by the shower
Combs and various brushes
All the odds and ends
Which fill our days
And hasten the passing hours

But now the place was bare
And yesterday’s rain
Still puddled on the empty balcony
The tiles in the kitchen
Which I’d never noticed before
Were looking weary and grey
Bearing the cadaverous complexion
Of the unwanted
The parquet strips
Were suddenly showing their age
In the most dismaying manner
Like a threadbare coat
On a public street
The walls which I’d never
Paid any attention to whatsoever
Were covered with sad reminders
Of every scratch and scrape
Over the years
Now naked they stood screaming
In the winter afternoon

How many coats of paint
Would it take
To hide
This sad history

Her parents’ rooms
Were at opposite
Ends of the hall
Perhaps toward the end
They called to one another
More likely the doors were shut

Now the rooms are empty
And the hollow echoes hang
In the cold winter air
And though it was not
The end of the world
I could see it from there


1 comment:

Gry said...

So strange! Almost the same picture! But I saw "mine" on a frozen lake. So when the ice melts....