Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic Devices

How did we all meet.
Looking back rearranges
the room, the figures
in it, who spoke first,
and then, the retelling
swoops in, brushes
the crumbs and cat hair
from the coffee table,
leaving a clear surface
with edges. Fiction
means fact, doesn’t it,
a student asked me,
I remember it because
they sound the same.
Mnemonics fray
and buckle, My Very
Eager Mother Ordered
How Many Pizzas,
Again, whoopsies,
there go the planets,
spinning, spilling,
like a broken strand
of beads. Tell yourself
a story to figure out
what goes where, and
tell a story about
how meticulously
the sky was designed.
You’ll be sleeping
before the end, calling
back details to prove
how clearly you see
what was: the spider
shuddering in its harness
when the dumpster lid
clunked shut, the scent
of trees, either cedar
or pine, the intention
you rethread yourself
with, mending, darning.


  1. : ) I use a lot of mnemonic devices and I am kind of embarrassed because when I need to remember something fast...inside my head wheels start going in reverse and i always know that the person standing in front of me can see that : ). Lovely poem Hannah!

  2. One of the very first I learned decades ago when I began taking piano: Every Good Boy Does Fine (and wishing that B were a G for Girl).

  3. Every Good Boy Deserves Favor :-).

  4. Tell yourself a story...indeed, don't we all? Mnemonic devices, I live by those, still, sometimes.

    I liked the form of this poem, thin and long, as your words describe:

    "leaving a clear surface
    with edges."


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