Monday, November 21, 2011



Permanent marker
might as well be chalk.
It cannot be scrubbed off,
but the wall on which
you draw can be
demolished beneath
your hand, can be
bulldozed. How do
we decide what is more
readily disposable, and
what to keep using.
The perfect plastic vessel
housing hand soap
empties, and is thrown
into the blue bin
with the other bottles
and jars that hold nothing.
To mean anything,
a container must store
a visible substance.
We destroy them, melt them
all together, make them
into new versions
of what they were already,
fill them again.
Bottomless refills, some
restaurants promise.
For as long as you
exist, and so do they,
they will bring you soda
in clear red cups.
There is plenty of sugar
and water, and carbon
with which to manufacture
tiny bubbles cupping air.


  1. On other occasions, too, I've felt that you could have fallen into moralistic social commentary or allegory, yet you've always kept things nicely understated, daily, mundane, always on at least two levels. So the poems withhold and rises above simplistic, moralistic conclusions. In other words, I really like this one. (Again). And our holding on to "ink" while allowing or causing walls to fall is a super-interesting observation or speculation.

  2. "rise above"--more coffee, please.

  3. To mean anything a container must store a visible substance...

    I've been looking at all the empty containers in this house and thinking about which should go. You offer a new perspective.

  4. I agree with Banjo52 that you've walked a steady tight rope here. A brilliant performance, assured all the way.

  5. I love how this extended my morning coffee AND allowed me to reflect on our disposable/recyclable society...

    I love the art, too. Amazing. Is it like an installation, I wonder, on a chalkboard still in use? My husband has "recycled" a discarded chalkboard (small enough to carry) by painting on it, transforming it into a painting!

  6. Second everyone above.

    I clicked over to Hong Seon Jang's site. Her installations w/ deer and the owl, are wonderful. And she has an artist statement that makes sense, and impels one to take a close look at her work. Her "Geographic Wave" is stunning. Love her use of so many throw-aways. I can see how you could be inspired. Great stuff!

  7. You perfectly captured my thoughts on the contents of our recycle bin :).

  8. I had to read this three times through, it was just too gorgeous to only ingest once.

  9. I find this a perfect prelude to "Repurposed". How poignant that the bottomless refill could also be full of bubbles cupping air. (meaning nothing?) To mean anything (more than bottomless refills), a container must store substance. Like the human body must have signfiicant substance other than skin and bones and often malfunction innards. A jump into the insight. Beautiful.


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