Posts Tagged ‘lost things’

By Charles Ederer

Should have been in the letter I don’t remember
Where I wrote in cursive script that I was lost
In the trailing wind
An oblique horizon levitating with the sun
Setting on me

I told you about my life then asking
Whether things lost are never found again in daylight
Only in dream and night
I said this was a French ballad sad and strong
With an audience that sings with me

And now I press my hands to these salted floorboards
Thinking of you my English Channel
My Rome 25 years on
But few things are so close
Not tomorrow if all we have is stuffed into bags
Shut to the rest of us

There is a snowflake in this burned-out house in winter
If there is one in you
Drift with us
Over charred postcards and Polaroids
Under kitchen-sink faces
Through rays of diamond summer dust

Near the well where I watch unicorns play
Is a fallen tree on which to imagine
The ride home or some such scheme of war
In haste as the nights of Oostende
Flee tonight again

But the last you will see of me after tomorrow
Is reaching far into space
Footsteps outside this door
That every mile or so leads to my nobody name carved in ice
An arrow of pine needles crudely angled
Toward anywhere but here

Door, photo © 2010 by Charles Ederer. All rights reserved.

Charles is marketing executive who lives in San Francisco with his son, Alexander. About writing, Charles has this to say: It’s surprising to me how long it’s taken to move my writing to a place where I’m finally satisfied, though perhaps my gestation process has more to do with finding my voice than anything else. Having a reason to write is important, but having something to say with a road-proven voice is altogether more challenging, especially if my themes are to be universal.

About two years ago I completed my first official volume of work, titled A Perfect Vessel. In reading it from time to time, I often wonder where I found the grit to complete it the way I did and have it render the intensity I hoped it would.

Poetry to me is an iterative process, part of which is brutal editing. I’ve gotten to the point where I know (usually by the next morning) whether it’s good or not worth anyone’s time. Everything I need to say is contained inside me and it’s not so much a matter of writing well but finding myself through the journey of selection and placement. I’m seeking to be in love with what I’ve written, and if I’m not there yet I work it until it forms into something that speaks true for me and, hopefully, for the reader. It’s similar to the process of painting on canvas, really.

This piece was inspired by red Ravine’s post WRITING TOPIC — DOOR. The door icon speaks for me in my present state of life.

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Things that are lost, and really I feel like taking a gulp of my coffee. I feel like lying on my tummy at Dr. L’s place and having him adjust whatever it is I lost and has been relocated just behind my shoulder blade. Maybe he’ll find a little trinket, one of Em’s sparkly necklace pendants that she picks up.

Things that are lost, and I picture myself at age 9, or 7, standing on the inside of a women’s clothing rack. I am in the hollow in the center, and all around me are the slacks and skirts and blouses on hangers. I have torn off the bottom half of each price tag, the portion normally taken by the saleswoman when she checks you out. I’ve collected a stack of them, quietly and without drawing attention to what I am doing, while Mom shops.

And now, standing in this center of the rack, in the semi-darkness, I feel lost. Lost in an urban center or lost in a crowd, lost in a stack of clothing, lost while all around me I hear voices of mothers like mine, talking to the salesgirls or to one another, but not to other children. I am alone in my size and in the fact that my mother drags me on her shopping trips. Lost to her, I am like a purse or the lipstick, something to remember about before and after but not in between.

Lost, I am a lost thing found, now, sitting here. My coffee still beckons, coffee is never a lost thing. It dawns on me that some objects, persons, places, things have a lost energy to them, others a found energy. Or maybe it’s not found as much as landed. Solid, rooted, and that’s the way I want to go. If I am on a road traveling, I wouldn’t mind being lost if I knew in my heart I were found.

Lost, lost in space, lost in a world. Keys, wallets, credit cards, what are the things in my life that are lost? I’ve lost jewelry, the blue-and-white round earrings I borrowed of Dee’s. I’ve lost clothing, I couldn’t find my green sweater and later it turned up in Em’s chest of drawers.

-NOTE: I did this writing practice with one of my writing groups.

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