< - - Housekeeping - - >
Why is there no checklist for life?
Can you say … recipe for disaster …
If you’re planning to fail …
… then you’re failing to plan
I cut my teeth in a house where we could eat off the floor if we so desired
The floor was either that clean or some other innate wisdom was built into that statement
And I thought my inane wisdom came from ...
Do you, don’t you want me to love you?
Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
Sexy Sadie you broke the rules
Singing in the dead of night
Why don’t you stare into your own Glass Onion
(My head is spinning, ooh...
Ha ha ha, ha ha ha, alight!
I got blisters on my fingers!)
She raised me to be God fearing
And taught me right from wrong
Where have our lives gone wrong
After all the tender rearing
Now she needs my fatherly care
To cook for her and pay the bills
My giving is plain with no frills
It's hard for me to truly be there
She prays to her God in Heaven above
I work quietly with nothing to say
Unsure if she loves me to this day
She failed to teach me to say one word, "love"
I pulled back the thicket
Brambles and thorns
Bordering my mind
Inch by inch
To let you slip inside
I hope you don't mind
The pestilent storm of neuroses
The angry winds whipping around
Eroding my cognition
(They all say
I ought to stop overthinking
They don't know the half of it)
Pardon the mess
The litter of apprehensions
Flotsam and jetsam of rumination
Tangles of tangents
Smog of chimeric thoughts
Sticky rambles festering in the corner
Of obstinate wayward tunes
Insecurity and fear
Eating into the pillars and foundations
If you don't mind terribly
The clatter of sleet
The noisome fumes
The skittering vermin
The sheer clutter
That would make packrats shake their heads
If you don't mind
Would you stay?
I'm tired of written apologies you don't have the guts to speak-
Poets use words and letters and metaphors to explain how they feel
but you, you use a paint by numbers
and it seems to me I've ran out of every color
so now you're just a blank page staring back at me
tempting me to write my own apologies
because I somehow feel bad for you having to say sorry.
These days can become the flat tire on your car on the way to a funeral
but I will always be there to bring you light
even when you take your lack of apologies
and use them to knock out the lights on the ceiling fan-
I will wait in the dark until you decide to change the bulb.
But you never do-
so I'm left there picking up shards of lightbulb
as my hands bleed and spell out your apologies
and I look up at you and ask for help
but it seems you are stuck inside your own mind
your own world until the mess is cleaned up
and the light returns and then I'm stuck here apologizing
for getting blood stains on your t-shirt.
I understand dismay, and the ability to be distraught-
but I don't understand being someone else's peacoat
there to keep you warm until its no longer needed.
I just want to be appreciated.
You know it's not worth all the trouble
The stationary on the table
Open the doors to needy families
They need their ice machines
Need their locks and they need keys
And they need chairs and beds and ashtrays
The stationary on the table
Next to the television
I was in the shower
Looking for my soap
The doors were closed, I'm sure
No one knows I was there
Kept it well hidden, then I
Did what I had to do and then I
Walked away and I forgot this day ever happened
It's easy to walk away just turn your head
And forget this day ever happened
It's easy just to walk away, turn your head and forget
That this day ever happened
It's easy to forget, turn around and leave
Wrap it around your sleeve and forget
Forget this day, this day ever happened
Left the ice machine
I left my locks and keys
I left my luggage and my dirty magazines
I left my ashtrays
Left my bed and my buffet
Left my chairs and my keys and
Lord, I left my "Do Not Disturb"
Left my family, left the housekeeper
And I left the ice machine
Left the postcards of the pool
Left the restaurant, left the shower
And the rooms and the signs that say:
"Soap upstairs, stationary on the table
By the television."
I stole the towels and the TV guide
I got into my vehicle, I stole another ashtray
From the bar, by the bed, by the buffet
Sat in your electric chair and thought of children
I was a clerk, I had a "Do Nor Disturb" sign on my head
And the Doors were playing in the background
About the broken families
And the housekeeper at the ice machine
Where she lost her keys, but she never could find the locks
And her luggage and her magazines
Oh, she's on the phone too much, and the pool is warm but it's closed
She's got a postcard
There's a remote chance that the restaurant is still open
But we've got the keys to the rooms
We got showers, we've got signs that say:
"Soap can be found upstairs
By the stationary on the table
Sitting by the television."
Well, I brought back the towels but I kept the TV guide
My vehicle's in the shop and the ashtrays are filled
With roaches and roach clips
And the bar of soap that I stole from the hotel
That was by the beds that were never quite made right
And the buffet that didn't taste right
And we were sitting in the chairs
We were listening to your children
Oh, that purse does not seem to like me much
I said, "Do not disturb my meditations, if you please
Turn that Doors tape off, if you please."
Gotta get home, back home to my family
I once was a housekeeper, I once was a housekeeper
Yes, I was, do you remember when I was a housekeeper?
But I never knew my way to the ice machine
And they never gave me keys so I never knew where the locks were
And I never needed luggage because the only things I'd seen were in magazines
Heard about on the phone - spent some time by the pool
Writing on the backs of postcards, suicide notes
But it's remote- this restaurant will not be the place I do it
I know I need some rooms - rooms with showers
Need myself a sign that says "The soap can be found upstairs
Next to the stationary on the table by the television."
I need some towels but I don't need the TV guide
So I got the TV, yeah I put it in the vehicle outside
Along with a couple of ashtrays
And a bottle or two that I had ordered but never paid for at the bar
Well, the beds were made this time
But the buffet still didn't taste quite right
And the chairs they gave us were much too small
Like they were made for children
But the clerk was not responsive to my complaints
She kept on saying, "Do Not Disturb me
You know the way to the doors."
If I had a dollar for all the families who were expecting me to be a housekeeper
I'd go buy the ice machine
Empty the ice and find the keys
And then I'd go look for the locks
Take my luggage cram-packed with magazines
I've got some quarters for the phone
Brought my swimming trunks for the pool
Send a postcard
But there is a remote possibility
That I might never leave here
But stay here
Eating in the restaurant
Where the rooms are not too cozy
And the showers ain't got no running hot water
We need a sign, there were nothing but signs
I should have been paying attention to the signs
I should have brought my own soap
The thought occurred to me as I walked down the stairs
That's why I need some stationary
I'm gonna sit down at the table
Turn the television off, send back the towels
Open up the TV guide, think about the vehicle outside
It was raining the Saturday I hired the carpenter, but I think it was acid rain from all the poison you let escape into your body.
He was a drunkard, and he apologized through sips of alcohol. It was the color of your blood when I found you in fits and I begged him to wash them out of the carpet, but through every sip he said your name just like the walls do.
I begged the maid to clean up the razors but she never did.
The maid came in two hours late and she didn't seem to mind my frustration. Much like you never seemed to mind when you said the right things all too late.
She swept secrets under the rugs and listened to the creak in the floorboard whenever any weight was put on this old wooden floor that reminded me so much of your weak shoulders when I needed a place to hold me.
The builder was far too early, and the maid never cleaned up in time. The builder tried desperately to rebuild the walls, but they shook at the weight of another's skin on mine, and the builder whispered "I think you need him back." I dismissed him, and the force of my door slamming (much like the force when you left that night with everything but me) was enough to destroy every wall.
Gardeners came in flustered at the work ahead of them. There were scars on my heart running up the sides like vines and it was far too thick to be cut down.
I envied the fresh dug up dirt encasing the weeds that I so badly wished would hold my body too. You see I tried to burry myself in your mind but you kept pushing me out and now the dirt is the only thing that promises certainty.
i am not of a mind,
to be inspired today.
i have read much,
of love and beauty,
but it...holds no sway
my mind dwells,
in the realm,
like a housekeeper,
with a list of chores
she must bring,
to a close before,
picking up her paycheck
and easing into,
her comfortable clothes..
so, squat and stolid,
my mind works, hard,
throughout this long
and dreary day.
and scrubbing hearts.
the washing machine,
with dirty thoughts
and besmirched linen...
that needs sometime
to dry out,
in the bright shining sun.
i am not of a mind,
to be inspired today...
i may, just slumber on
We two kept house, the Past and I,
The Past and I;
I tended while it hovered nigh,
Leaving me never alone.
It was a spectral housekeeping
Where fell no jarring tone,
As strange, as still a housekeeping
As ever has been known.
As daily I went up the stair,
And down the stair,
I did not mind the Bygone there—
The Present once to me;
Its moving meek companionship
I wished might ever be,
There was in that companionship
Something of ecstasy.
It dwelt with me just as it was,
Just as it was
When first its prospects gave me pause
In wayward wanderings,
Before the years had torn old troths
As they tear all sweet things,
Before gaunt griefs had torn old troths
And dulled old rapturings.
And then its form began to fade,
Began to fade,
Its gentle echoes faintlier played
At eves upon my ear
Than when the autumn’s look embrowned
The lonely chambers here,
The autumn’s settling shades embrowned
Nooks that it haunted near.
And so with time my vision less,
Yea, less and less
Makes of that Past my housemistress,
It dwindles in my eye;
It looms a far-off skeleton
And not a comrade nigh,
A fitful far-off skeleton
Dimming as days draw by.
In- transit housekeeper with a-
Suspicious College Park subway-
people , waking replays
Telltale inhabitants , blustery November-
commuter stations , screaming trains
Lawyers carpool south , caretakers charge-
north in dirty rain
Kinetic Georgia peonage channeled-
through a "City too busy to Hate" ..