Narrative embedded within "Clutter":
1. 365 days in the colander year. 525,600 minutes for draining the minutiae. The leaks enlarge while I am sleeping, something vital always seeping.
2. Piles grow and stacks aspire to press against the ceiling.
3. In the sediment lie Christmas cards signed "Love" by hands last seen waving or folded in a casket.
4. Behold the diorama of my beloved past.
5. The less I recollect, the more I collect.
6. To avoid losing track, I record miles traveled - the distance between the person I am and who I want to be.
7. Junk accumulates. Needs proliferate. The more I save, the less there is of me.
8. The mistake? Being too porous.
9. The mirror reveals more wrinkles as faces living in memory are worn smooth.
10. The more I collect, the less I recollect.
11. Advice roars from the telephone I found ringing: Try reading what the papers don't say. Look for holes in the arguments. Learn about the crusade of omissionaries.
12. The mistake? Not being porous enough.
13. A fire evicts me. I stand on the curb as my belongings smolder in the rain.
14. A fireman warns, "Beware," or "Be Aware," I'm not sure. I nod hole-heartedly.
15. When we were children, my friends thought they would grow up to be doctors or firemen. I said I would be an ancient Chinese hermit and eat stone soup for dinner.
16. The soup at the shelter is good and cold. I ask the sister for a spoon. She says I'll find one when I clean out the rented storage unit.
PO Box 249
Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047
©2010 Wendy Fernstrum