My Favourite Found Object

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I will write something about my own favourite found object separately but while looking for something for the writers group I found this!

Found Object

 

Somebody left this white T-shirt

like a hangman’s hood on the new parking meter—

the magic marks upon its back say: I QUIT METH 4-EVER.

A declaration to the sky, whose angels all wear seagull wings

swooping over this street with its torn scratch tickets

and Big Gulp cups dropped by the curb.

 

Extra large, it has been customized

with a pocketknife or a canine tooth

to rough the armholes where my boobs wobble out

as I roam these rooms lit by twilight’s bulb,

feeling half like Bette Davis in a wheelchair

and half like that Hell’s Angels kingpin with the tracheotomy.

 

Dear reader, do you know that guy?

I didn’t think so. If only we could all watch the same TV.

But no doubt you have seen the gulls flying,

and also the sinister bulked-up crows

carrying white clouds of hotdog buns in their beaks:

you can promise them you’ll straighten up, but they are such big cynics.

 

I should have told you My lotto #’s 2-11-19-23-36

is what’s written in front, beside the silk screen

for Listerine Cool Mint PocketPaks™—

which means you can’t hijack my name;

no, you have to go find your own, like a Hopi brave.

You might have to sit in a sweat lodge until you pass out

 

or eat a weird vine and it will not be pleasant. Your pulse

goes staccato like a Teletype machine— then blam

you’ll be transformed into your post-larval being.

Maybe swallowtail, maybe moth: trust me, I know

because once I was a baby blue convertible

but now I’m this black hot rod painted with flames.

 

Lucia Perillo

 

I wasn’t familiar with Lucia Perillo (1958 – 2016) but I really liked this. Perillo grew up in the New York area and initially went into wildlife management before returning to university to do an MA in English. This sounds like the background for a poet who would write tranquil pastoral poems but Perillo’s are inventive and sometimes savage.  In her thirties she was diagnosed with MS and she wrote I’ve Heard the Vultures Singing (2005) a collection of essays described on the Poetry Society website as:), “ a clear-eyed and brazenly outspoken examination of her life as a person with disabilities.”

 

While my first thoughts on the theme went to flotsam on shores and things forgotten at the bottom of drawers, perhaps these days we more often make discoveries through social media and search engines.  Anyway, I am very glad I found Lucia Perillo’s poetry.

 

To the Field of Scotch Broom That Will Be Buried by the New Wing of the Mall

Lucia Perillo

Half costume jewel, half parasite, you stood

swaying to the music of cash registers in the distance

while a helicopter chewed the linings

of the clouds above the clear-cuts.

And I forgave the pollen count

while cabbage moths teased up my hair

before your flowers fell apart when they

turned into seeds. How resigned you were

to your oblivion, unlistening to the cumuli

as they swept past. And soon those gusts

will mill you, when the backhoe comes

to dredge your roots, but that is not

what most impends, as the chopper descends

to the hospital roof so that somebody’s heart

can be massaged back into its old habits.

 

Mine went a little haywire

at the crest of the road, on whose other side

you lay in blossom.

As if your purpose were to defibrillate me

with a thousand electrodes,

one volt each.

 

https://poets.org/poet/lucia-perillo

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lucia-perillo

11 thoughts on “My Favourite Found Object

  1. Agreed, Cathy.

    By the way..

    “and half like that Hell’s Angels kingpin with the tracheotomy.

    Dear reader, do you know that guy?
    I didn’t think so. If only we could all watch the same TV.”

    I know that guy! It’s from Sons of Anarchy

    Like

  2. MY BEST FOUND(AGAIN) OBJECT.
    By Mairi Cable

    My best found again object is this diary from 1973. It was on my bedside cabinet with some papers from university. It has found a new lease of life as a jotter for recording my creative pieces of writing for the Writers Group. I don’t know if it has helped resurface some flair for writing which I may have had as a student. I note later in the diary that my sociology exam was on Tuesday 29th of May, my French exam on Thursday31st in Butchart from 9-12 and 2-5 and my History exam was on Tuesday 5th June. All I remember about them is the nerves I would have before them. I also remember what a happy carefree time it was. My student days were very important to me. I wanted to be thought of as clever, though I don’t think I was that clever but I worked very hard for it. Unfortunately, the way my life turned out I did not get the gratification of a career. I did a years teaching and worked for five years for the Civil Service before my health broke, I left the Civil Service in 1984 and had Sarah in 1986. After that I looked after Sarah full time, you were allowed to do that at the time.

    Although I would say being a student was hard work for me and being a student was and the civil service was hard too nothing was as hard as bringing up Sarah on my own with all the help by way of from family, friends and carers. And Sarah succeeded well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My favourite found objects

    Beach combing
    We used to stop at the beach whenever possible
    And look for nice stones
    I was particularly attracted to small white stones
    And fancy curly shells and nice scallop shells

    At the far end of the beach underneath the cliff
    Seem to be the place for small white stones
    They glistened between the general array of a variety
    Of all sizes and shades of grey
    Unfortunately when we got them home
    They dried and became a light shade of grey

    Amongst them were small smooth little curled up white shells
    Looking like small snail shells and they stayed white
    Not as many as the stones so they were like treasures
    I keep all these finds in a display by the fireplace
    In a large glass sweet jar and a crystal bowl
    A display of memories of the many beach walks we did
    Over more than fifteen years

    We use to walk the length of the beach and
    Observed several little posts in the sand
    I gave them names: little man, fish man, tin man
    We were able to judge the depth of new sand cover
    From the height of these objects
    Sometimes they disappeared and
    We waited till next time they appeared

    Once we saw that the tip of the wooden little man
    Had broken off and lay in the sand
    We took it home and put it in the crystal dish with
    The various other stones
    Our memories of walks on the beach
    My memories of happy times

    Urszula

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  4. You wake in the morning and see dew on the grass
    Glinting away and catching your eye,
    You take the shortcut you usually take
    With bated breath you can see the waves,
    Waiting for all and crashing away.
    You start to wander along the shore
    Until there is no shore anymore.

    The stones are wet as if the tides been in
    It’s out again now and left it’s creases,
    Then it catches your eye a bottle sits still,
    You look at it closer and spot a note inside,
    You hurry to grab it excitement builds up
    You open it up and read the note,
    It says inside of found please let the sender know,
    By the way it’s written its an excited wee bit,
    Who is looking for a message to say it’s arrived.

    Destination I don’t know where he wanted it to go,
    But I’m the lucky one who found it On the shore,
    So I will message him back and let him know,
    It got here safe and sound .
    John Smith is his name and a crofthouse address,
    It’s miles from Lewis but hey no,
    I will return it to the water after John knows,
    His bottle is off again on its travels ,
    And let’s see where it goes.

    This poem is based on a true story on a beach in harris by Donna Keenan.

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