An Apology of Hoarding

First, a disclaimer: I am not going to talk about hoarding as a clinical condition, since I’m not qualified to tackle medical issues. What I mean when I say “hoarding” is the opposite of “minimalist living”, which has become so popular of late and is often cited as a kind of mantra. Either implicitly or explicitly packaged as “an intentional search for happiness” by its proponents, “minimalist living”  is essentially a guilt trip for hoarders. It tells us that if we don’t relinquish most of our material possessions in search for a kind of miraculous 21st-century urban Buddhism, then we we are entirely to blame for our unhappiness, failures, and general ills. “Minimalist living” is also often put forth as the cure for the capitalist evil of consumerism, suggesting that people who buy and collect things that they don’t strictly need are bowing down to the global market. A taste for acquiring bric-a-brac is condemned as unhealthy, materialistic, and leading to disorganisation and inefficiency. (more…)

A Dialogue Postcard

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The Pyromaniac and the Salamander

You burn me. They say
if you die in flames,
your shadow burns
with you and so
you may not
enter heaven.
I am heaven.
I burn you because
I am incandescent,
in me you have
your greatest wishes
fulfilled. Desire scorches
but it does not
crease the soul.
You are the blinding,
punishing light,
one may not love you
without danger.
You feed on homes
and ships alike.
I taste but to learn,
I consume but to
restore. My tongues
are tongues of wisdom,
and their venom
is hope.

Riddle on a Postcard

Had lots of fun coming up with a riddle for day thirteen of NaPoWriMo! I won’t give out the answer straight away though! So read it and leave me your guesses in the comments! ;(

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Riddle Me This

Hunt me, chop me,
boil me, fry me,
to summon good fortune
you must kill my rush.
In spring I am folly,
you wear me in winter,
and although in tunnels
I set up my household,
some say that I live
on the moon.

Another Double Post

Hopefully, this will be the last time when I have to make up for one “skipped” day in the NaPoWriMo scheme.

For yesterday’s poem in Sapphics, a sequence inspired by this rather uncanny 1951 New Yorker cover:

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Stage Fright

With a jump, the monster was there, beside her:
in their seats, the viewers were dancing shadows,
her ballet transformed into danse macabre
in less than a second.

Lips upturned, the curtains fell down in silence –
all the songs had changed into gruesome dirges –
turned away, the hands had no more applauses
to counter the stage fright.

And now, for today’s prompt to describe a favourite thing, I decided upon a favourite scene from a favourite movie: the dance scene in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. (Yes, somehow both poems ended up withe dance as their main theme.)

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Brigitte Helm as Maschinenmensch

Her hips twist
on an impossible orbit
cutting the air like blades
grating the edge off time.
Every man’s shoulder
is a throne
for her heel
and when she puts
her foot down
she is unapologetic
she means
to leap and bite.
Neck thrust forward
she is a bird
crowned with the bones
of her ancestors.
Thin, flat
and sharp
she pulls down the divide.