#NPM22 – INTIMACY – Poem a Day
The Intimacy of Vacuuming the House on a Thursday Evening
The dried clumps of mud on the kitchen floor
make me feel like a bad mother
and the chunks of crusted spinach
and the rolling tufts of dog hair too
When I open the canister on the vacuum
dirt is overflowing into the long tube beneath it
like a throat congested
pulling out the build up is both
disgusting and marvelous – there’s just so
I drop it on the floor in a dark heap
sweep it up dump it in the garbage
and then the canister’s collection too
the black bag in the can turns gray
with dust – the refuse beneath chokes
and then the reconnection of vacuum parts
the plug in the outlet
the hum of spinning parts and working
motors and hard bits smacking against
the plastic tube the power of the suction
I quiet into the noise of cleaning
begin to feel the gentle satisfaction of
things there and then not there
the kitchen floor glares up in thanks
I am a mother whose threshold for dirt
expands like her belly – the caring about it
waxes and wanes, news and fulls like a tired moon
this relationship with cleanliness is
solitary and in these minutes
my hand on the vacuum head
guiding this appliance through our home
it is empowering if not provocative
the things my mind thinks when I vacuum
loyal to the dirt to the pieces of us
I’m taking away
It’s amazing how time can expand. The poet laureate interview was thirty minutes. Each minute felt like at least five…and, like, heavy, if that makes sense! Not in a negative way at all! Charged. Electric. In a way that just feels different in your mind and body. Energetically. I knew that would happen and so I did a lot of mental and emotional prep. I was having PTSD from the TedX talk I did in 2017 (remember that doozy?). I had the same fears, deep-rooted and confidence crushing wrecking havoc in my mind. But, thankfully, I learned from that out-of-body experience and did my best to make sure I didn’t have the same experience with this interview.
Preparations included writing out my mission statement, my values and believes, choosing what to wear ahead of time, gathering my spiritual totems for the desk, choosing to do poetry on demand and using my favourite typewriter to write the poem, having my notes, key words and application in front of me, and lots of deep breathing.
And then – it happened! I got all splotchy!!!
After, I let out one big sob/cry of relief…
Here’s the poem on demand I wrote (complete with typos!). I was nervous so my typing wasn’t the greatest!
Pretty much right after the interview, I tidied up and went to join my dear friend for a celebratory brunch at Suzie’s Grill Cafe (2565 Ouellette Ave Suite 120, Windsor, ON N8X 1L9).
I feel relieved and happy that that part of the process is over. What happens next is that we wait to see what the final choice is. And then we celebrate again, no matter what the outcome!
If you’re wondering, why all the fuss…I’ll tell you that it is a dream to be poet laureate, to even have the opportunity to apply and interview. I care very much about the role. I care very much about poetry! And, I can’t tell you how much I continue to learn about myself, my writing, my passion as this process unfolds. And how grateful I am for the writers and literary loves in my life who continue to teach me and share the glorious glories that are essential to being a writer. It matters to me. It matters to the city. And so, onward, friends! To poetry! To interviews! To avocado toast!