Day 19 #NaPoWriMo

Today, our optional prompt challenges you to write a poem based on a “walking archive.” What’s that? Well, it’s when you go on a walk and gather up interesting thing – a flower, a strange piece of bark, a rock. This then becomes your “walking archive” – the physical instantiation of your walk. If you’re unable to get out of the house (as many of us now are), you can create a “walking archive” by wandering around your own home and gathering knick-knacks, family photos, maybe a strange spice or kitchen gadget you never use. One you’ve finished your gathering, lay all your materials out on a tray table, like museum specimens. Now, let your group of materials inspire your poem! You can write about just one of the things you’ve gathered, or how all of them are all linked, or even what they say about you, who chose them and brought them together.

Stone, paper, knives

19 April 20


Three things spread across my house

They used to be in the same plastic bin

But now they live on separate floors

Where once I lived on a borrowed couch

The oldest is the book I made

As part of a kindergarten class project

Words and illustrations by me

As the teachers provided the format

I now have 5 more books

And somehow knew back then I knew I’d be writing more

There is the Ethiopian constipation man I got back in 93

Soap stone statue on the shores of Mombasa Kenya

A poor replica of the Thinking Man I saw in Paris decades later

He has been a constant companion throughout my travels

He sits atop a dresser in my bedroom

Next to another statue that my wife procured

Her statue is a symbol of our love

My statue is a reminder of what was

Then there is the knives littered around the house

Only one has my own blood upon it

Carving into my flesh one day

After I misplaced my heart

And wanted to end that way

Its hidden from view

Always in the dark

Like some of my thoughts

That creep out at times

And scream for more blood

I think one day I’ll find it

And melt it down in fire

As I melt the desire for self destruction

And find out why I’m still breathing

I’ve tried to live minimally in the past

I’ve moved across the country more than once

Shunning contentment as a weakness

And now shutting myself in for self preservation

As my meager possessions increase

They dont hold the value of these things

These bits of me

When taken together

Providing the story of my existence

Just three things define me

And that is all I need

The stone, the paper and the knives

Are all I have to offer

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