ghost stories & found objects

19 10 2006

this was unexpectedly part of a book i was skimming while trying to learn a little something about discourse analysis (i learned just enough to know i don’t need to learn any more of it after i take this batch of notes, thankfully), & i thought ghosts in general fit perfectly with the shifting greys of the sky today, & the vivid green-yellows of the some-kind-of-nut tree losing leaves from its top on down across the street, so that at window-height it’s thick with color, color that flits against the dark-pine backdrop of the backyard hedges, color dancing down with each fall to puddle on the sidewalk, & into the grey sky it’s just empty branches reaching, framing momentary perfect photographs of passing crows… & the sentiment fit with too many things that crowd my head of late, especially when i find myself in the houses where i used to live, or looking at this one as a past-about-to-happen. also i like how the rhyme-scheme sneaks up on you, like she didn’t mean for it to rhyme but damn those ghosts’ insisting…

by elizabeth jennings

those houses haunt in which we leave
something undone. it is not those
great words or silences of love

that spread their echoes through a place
and fill the locked-up unbreathed gloom.
ghosts do not haunt with any face

that we have known; they only come
with arrogance to thrust at us
our own omissions in a room.

the words we would not speak they use,
the deeds we dared not act they flaunt,
our nervous silences they bruise;

it is our helplessness they choose
and our refusals that they haunt.




One response

20 10 2006

lovely poem, thanks!

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