Friday, December 30, 2011

New Things

A new blog header and a few links for your lazy winter web-browsing. May your new year be filled with peace and wonder and goodness.

A coffee addict’s guide to the world- note to self: bookmark it so you don’t get a headache on your trip to Turkey or Argentina. P.S. I have had the civet coffee (see Indonesia), and it tastes like poop.

We got a big kick out of this baked potato bean bag chair and the pizza sleeping bag.

A beautifully shot film about Ray, a man who dedicated his life to diving “for gold and mermaids”.

Thinking about reading Then Again and Blue Nights.

Let it Be Beautiful: a fab little project by Elizabeth Barker and Laura Jane Faulds. Over the course of nine volumes, Liz and LJ will rewrite every Beatles song (there are 300!) as a story or an essay. via miss moss.

Hope to go to a few of these restaurants in the new year.

I wish this was the case.

rune guneriussen- magical realism and more.

Tomboy Style- check out the piece about whisk(e)y drinking.

And speaking of big Ice cubes... Ice Cube celebrates The Eames-a charming tribute video.

770 Behind The Line- its the Jcrew tumblr, a few interesting things beyond pure retail.

I loved this Paris Review post about a dress.

The story of that New Year’s Eve song that we know so well but, at the same time, don’t really.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Shop

I wrote this post in 2006, Joe had his last day at the shop today.

I feel lucky to be marrying someone who loves their job. Joe has worked at “the shop” building a certifiable stairway to paradise for over 5 years now. I have to keep reminding myself of this to quell my anger and sadness when he works. He works a lot and seems to be on call like a physician, but I know he enjoys mostly every minute of it. When I visit his work place I am reminded of the energy it holds and why Creative Engineering is like a drug addiction, not physically good for you, everyone is telling you to stop, but in his mind and devoted heart, it makes him glow with life.

When Joe talks about his work to others, his eyes shine as he churns out more exacting detail than even the most fastidious client would ever care to hear. People nod, but I know he has lost them in the 45 degree angle, and all thats left for them to focus on is his refulgent enthusiasm that they are desperately hoping is contagious.

In the shop testosterone fuels a smattering of suspicion and mistrust, but blaring classic rock, clouds of sawdust and a childlike anticipation of lunchtime unites them. A reluctant camaraderie embraces its members who are striving young men that enter through a revolving door from virtually all walks of life. Sometimes they are looking for the shop to save them, from themselves and from the uncertainty that life has dealt them.

It is 10000 square feet of colors, textures, woods, metals, glue, nails, whining power tools, sweat, calluses and foolish stubborn dedication to a cause they pretend to have little respect for in the end.

Decisions have to be made that disappear into the complete piece. How do we match this color, how do we achieve this texture or shape?

And while it is not always comforting to think of engineering getting too creative, as the name suggests, they do good solid proud work at the shop. Most of their work probably goes unnoticed, like most things. But it is in the process of construction where the true ingenuity lies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


My cross-town bus driver was wearing a santa hat today, but he was stone-faced. I thought it was funny.

It is a great time in New York, its crowded, its touristy, its cliché, everything sparkles, people are foolish, emotional, drunk and uncharactersitically generous.

Happy Holidays my dear blog readers, I adore you.

Also, please read this Christmas excerpt from D.H. Lawrence, via even*cleveland. Its just so damn beautifully written.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why She Wrote

From a piece called “Why I Write” by Joan Didion. I read this the other day and I keep thinking about it. I am all butter and Greyhound buses too.

I am not in the least an intellectual, which is not to say that when I hear the word "intellectual" I reach for my gun, but only to say that I do not think in abstracts. During the years when I was an undergraduate at Berkeley, I tried, with a kind of hopeless late-adolescent energy, to buy some temporary visa into the world of ideas, to forge for myself a mind that could deal with abstract.

In short I tried to think. I failed. My attention veered inexorably back to the specific, to the tangible, to what was generally considered, by everyone I knew then and for that matter have known since, the peripheral. I would try to contemplate the Hegelian dialectic and would find myself concentrating instead on a flowering pear tree outside my window and the particular way the petals fell on my floor. I would try to read linguistic theory and would find myself wondering instead if the lights were on in the bevatron up the hill. When I say that I was wondering if the lights were on in the bevatron you might immediately suspect, if you deal in ideas at all, that I was registering the bevatron as a political symbol, thinking in shorthand about the military-industrial complex and its role in the university community, but you would be wrong. I was only wondering if the lights were on in the bevatron, and how they looked. A physical fact.

I had trouble graduating from Berkeley, not because of this inability to deal with ideas—I was majoring in English, and I could locate the house-and-garden imagery in "The Portrait of a Lady" as well as the next person, "imagery" being by definition the kind of specific that got my attention—but simply because I had neglected to take a course in Milton. For reasons which now sound baroque I needed a degree by the end of that summer, and the English department finally agreed, if I would come down from Sacramento every Friday and talk about the cosmology of "Paradise Lost," to certify me proficient in Milton. I did this. Some Fridays I took the Greyhound bus, other Fridays I caught the Southern Pacific’s City of San Francisco on the last leg of its transcontinental trip. I can no longer tell you whether Milton put the sun or the earth at the center of his universe in "Paradise Lost," the central question of at least one century and a topic about which I wrote 10,000 words that summer, but I can still recall the exact rancidity of the butter in the City of San Francisco’s dining car, and the way the tinted windows on the Greyhound bus cast the oil refineries around Carquinez Straits into a grayed and obscurely sinister light. In short my attention was always on the periphery, on what I could see and taste and touch, on the butter, and the Greyhound bus. During those years I was traveling on what I knew to be a very shaky passport, forged papers: I knew that I was no legitimate resident in any world of ideas. I knew I couldn’t think. All I knew then was what I couldn’t do. All I knew was what I wasn’t, and it took me some years to discover what I was.

Which was a writer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of George Harrison’s death. In memoriam I watched Martin Scorsese’s documentary about George called “Living in the Material World” and I highly recommend it. There was some spectacular and intimate footage of the Beatles and then of just George. I am sometimes decidedly John-loving, because I admired his raw talent and bombast... but after watching this, its really George who seemed like such a beautiful, loving, poetic man.

Musicians always seem to be the truest artists; mixing emotion and technique into something that is undeniably widely appreciated by so many people. I will never get over the fact that the Beatles caused such an absolute sensation. Its amazing how popularity spreads and what cultural elements catch fire sometimes. I imagine if the Beatles had been popular when I was young, I would have been one of those screaming, fainting girls in the audience. I love this lips poster above (via Cup of Jo).

For a clip from the documentary, click here.

and Something (acoustic).

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Martha

Everything was painted with gold paint; pinecones, leaves, fruits, wreaths, nuts. There were gingerbread mansions with shining sugar window panes, forced flowering branches, wire edged ribbons and a towering impossible croquembouche. Ingredients that were not available within miles of my home. And recipes for things I didn’t even know could be homemade. Well-styled Christmas trees galore, without a tattered sentimental ornament in sight. And cookie morphology that was completely new to me. It was a cornucopia of the unknown.

This was back when Martha’s ideas were out of many peoples league. Fresh hen eggs, copper cooking pots that would not fit in most kitchens, boxwood lined New England walkways twinkling with white lights. It was a level of over-the-top home-maker perfection that disgusted many ordinary people. But not me. I was in 8th grade and I was downright dazzled. I took Martha Stewart’s Christmas book to bed with me night after night. The photography was glorious and it made me want to make everything.

I carried my brother’s black and serious-looking glue gun up to our attic and turned the space into a freezing cold workshop with one very dedicated and irrational elf. I bought styrofoam spheres, collected tiny pinecones from our hemlock tree, shamelessly stole from dishes of mixed nuts. And I gilded and glued until my fingers burned a million times over. I hung flowers to dry from every rafter. The silica gel eluded me. I only knew it from the small forbidden desiccant packets in new shoe boxes. Where could I get cups of it? This was supposed to be used to dry flowers without having to hang them so they kept their shape. All my hydrangeas and lilacs would dry hanging on the rafters and when you flipped them over they were no longer an orb, but more of a frozen upward wilt.

I tried to make the croquembouche, which is essentially a tower of creme puffs all held together by the magic of spun sugar. To do this, you were supposed to quickly drip molten sugar between two broom handles and when it hardened, swaddle the pastry in this airy nest. piece. of. cake. I made a complete mess trying this and the tower ended up as a pile, but it tasted gooey and sweet. My gingerbread mansion was more of a modest starter gingerbread home, I never did get enough poppy seeds for the poppy seed roll (although I wondered about asking the guys at the bagel shop). I did, however make very successful popcorn balls and homemade marshmallows and I twisted branches into several wreaths. So, in pursuit of glittering excellence I gave out many half-baked sentimental kid-versions of Martha’s crafts and cookies for Christmas that year. Once my penny wrapping business (called Pennies from Heaven) went under I had to keep busy somehow and this was the dawn of a new crafty industriousness.

Which brings me to my adult point. Last week my husband took me to see the Martha Stewart Show for my Birthday. And I found myself feeling ashamed that I like all of these things. I couldn’t tell my serious professional colleagues that I like Martha Stewart or that sometimes I walk the asiles of Michael’s crafts just to relax. A liberated woman does not bake barrels of cookies or take pleasure in arranging flowers. Or does she? Martha brought the average quotidien life a new kind of order and quality and beauty. Now she has lines of dishware, craft materials and tools. She is no different than an industrial designer or a chef or a horticulturist, its just that she is all of these things. And some people don’t like that. But I do.

It reminds me of this quote {When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.} ~Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eating Sand

Sometimes when I am on the beach I end up eating sand. This is one of the reasons why I can never truly, fully enjoy the airy blue universal beacon of relaxation that is the beach. Sand makes its way into everything, even warm salami sandwiches. Anyway, I once expressed this sentiment to an acquaintance who snidely remarked that I must be a barrel of fun on vacation. That acquaintance was right. I am no fun on vacation.

In recent years, I have forgotten how to relax on trips. I am not sure I ever knew. I knew leisure as a younger person the same way a cat knows it. It doesn’t know anything else. Going away on vacation almost always causes me stress these days. I dislike being a tourist. The not knowing. The being had. The feeling like a rube. The pressure to “see things” and be “wowed” by them tempered by the desire to do disgusting amounts of nothing.

Tell me, what’s your vacation strategy? Do you plan every minute? Do you research a lot, or do you just head straight out chasing the horizon?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Synchronous Fireflies!

Male fireflies lighting in unison in Malaysia. Woah.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dr. Little Miss Queen of Darkness

Something made me think of this old post I wrote in January 2009, so I am reposting it. Maybe every time I re-post it I will get a tiny bit closer to being over all of my educational-emo baggage. I do think this is one of the reasons why I like to teach, because I know so intimately what its like to hate school and I want to change that experience for others.

Since I am experimenting with being a scientist lately, I feel like I am on the verge of becoming square. Some people think that because I am getting my PhD that I must be a good student. But I am really not, and I never was. I burned my report card in our driveway once, I remember my heart sinking in fear and sadness when I saw the flame eat up my mediocrity. And I remember feeling even worse when the report card was a yellowy ashen pile, but I still felt like a loser. And another year I meticlously cut out all the C’s, it created a swiss-cheese effect. I missed school many times—especially in 4th grade—due to “sickness”, that was brought on by I-didnt-do-my-homework anxiety. And then of course there was the time I climbed the Japanese maple tree in our front yard to escape having to get on the school bus to kindergarden. I can still picture my mom and the bus driver standing at the base of the tree looking up at me and yelling. Incidentally, my escape was a total success. I didnt go to school that day and I got out of playing the deeply dreaded duck-duck-goose.

Highschool was just a mess, over-fucking-flowing with bad feelings about school. Kicked out of honors freshman year, never to live it down to this damn day. Harassing the nun who taught us French. Every time she turned her back to write on the board-we moved our desks up just a bit-every-time-she-turned-around until we were right up on her and she was freaking out. I never really cheated or did drugs or anything like that, but I acted like I was bad-ass and pissed off enough to do so. I think I drew on my sneakers once. I identified with Holden Caulfield, even though I probably never really finished reading the book.

And then of course there was Art School...

And now, by some strange fluke of adult-onset academic goodness, I am back in school. And I am feeling a bit like a Pollyanna, which I am not. I feel like I should get a tattoo or start smoking and wearing darker eyeliner and maybe become a self-loathing alcoholic. I think my voice should be raspier to reflect some kind of worldliness and experience in badness. I realized the other day that I still love the people who are super-smart, but who dont conform to what school has to give and who—because they have some kind of advanced crazy mind—are dark and brooding and screwed up. I still love people who are the most clever in a conversation but who got horrible grades. I like the tragedy of it and I love that song Little Miss Queen of Darkness because I imagine that they are talking about me, but I guess it will be Dr. Little Miss Queen of Darkness soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Great-Aunt died today. Below is a story that I once wrote about her, so I am reposting it. The story, called Cross to Wear, is sad but she lived a good life. Her name was Marie and she was from Algeria. She came to live in the United States when she was 39. We called her “Tata Marie”.“Tata” was a term of endearment derived from the word aunt in French, which is “Tante”. When I first knew her, she lived with my other great Aunt, her sister Rosette, in an apartment above my Grandmother. Tata Marie and Tata Rosette shuffled around in well-worn pink or blue slippers and flowered house-coats. They paid special attention to their hair; its color and the configuration of curls. They only cooked the freshest fish, only ate two cookies in one sitting, erroneously referred to the store P.C. Richard as “Richardsons”, watched soap operas and had pristine, ornate couches, chairs and lamps around the apartment. They had Monet’s “Rouen Cathedral, The Portal, Grey Weather” hanging in the living room. Tata Marie’s personality could be prickly at times. And I remember her occasionally getting into riotous, cacophonous quarrels with my Grandmother, which were followed by days of uncompromising silence from both parties. Tata Marie and Tata Rosette were always old to me, even in pictures when they were young, they still looked old. Marie would often reminisce about her late husband, her white poodle named Mimich and the breathtaking landscape of Algiers. She would have turned 100 years old this coming February.

Cross to Wear

He wore the cross around his neck for 4 years in WWII. When he died, several years after the war, she wanted him to be buried with it. The funeral home did not allow anyone to be buried with jewelry on, so she took the gold cross that hung around her husband’s neck and she put it on. She wore it proudly and sorrowfully for over 40 years.

Gold and gleaming and on a delicate chain, it always hung outside her shirt. It reminded her of him. He was a milliner and an Italian. And according to my Great-Aunt he was equally courageous and charismatic. She believed that his cross shielded her from harm.

My Great-Aunt broke her hip the other day and was rushed to the hospital and then subsequently shuffled from room to room and stripped of her clothes. She speaks with a charming French accent but her personality can be virulent. She is 96. I went to see her the other day in the hospital and she is in some pain physically, but not as much pain as she seems to be emotionally. Tears welled up in her already watery old gray eyes. The hospital staff lost her cross. It is nowhere.

This made me awfully sad. Now there is a blemish on the great orb of old romanticism that encircles our blue earth.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

“You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness—ignorance, credulity—helps your enjoyment of these things.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Feel-Good

Happy Autumn Everyone. The first official day is tomorrow. I wish you baskets of apples, mellow mornings, cozy sweaters, candlelight, sweeping acres of colorful leaves and butternut squash everything.

Image via A Cup of Joe

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rockaway Roundup

Rockaway Beach, Queens—the little piece of land just beyond Jamacia Bay—has gotten so much new attention in the past few years. On Saturday, we collectively held our breath as hurricane Irene approached this fragile place. I’ve heard stories of past Rockaway hurricanes, and how the ocean would greet the bay with disregard for the unsuspecting sandy-land between.

I am acutely aware of the ways that people view and interact with this city beach because my parents met at Rockaway Beach. For them, summer was synonymous with this place. For me, I just have a peculiar case of nostalgia for a place I never even knew. Rockaway has changed since my parents were out there, but what’s interesting is, it’s changing again. I like to think of it as a re-birth of cool.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Photography of Barry Underwood.

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Traffic Island Chronicles

There is an island that I spend a lot of time on. It’s strange. I have waited on this island for many minutes. I should probably not spend as much time there as I do.

I was on the island again the other day, sitting on a bench, staring at the ginkgo tree and smelling the simultaneously comforting and revolting hamburger exhaust from a nearby restaurant. This island attracts people who are somewhere between somewhere-to-be and nowhere-to-go. No one is waiting for them, anywhere.

Two men sat on the bench perpendicular to me. They were sleeping as the sun beat down on them. They had on the same pair of black boots and I wondered if they knew. Or if they knew each other. Then, a woman came and sat next to me and ate one of those huge homemade rice crispy treats that they sell in delis, but that no one ever purchases. She was new to the island. Just as I thought about how my island faithfully attracts transitional characters, misfits, outcasts and odd birds, a pigeon walked by with a deformed or badly injured foot.

On my island you will find two large black metal trash cans, three benches, five medium sized trees, two small trees and two shrubs in planters. Most of the trees are sycamores, the type that have the bark peeling off so it’s variegated, like camouflage. Each tree sits in a bed of wood shavings, which is surrounded by concrete. The ginkgo tree across from the island lights up a charasmatic green against the deep red brick facade. The facade belongs to an old factory building, the kind with crumbled character that will be missed and then forgotten when the city tears it down and puts a high-rise in its place. Most of the surrounding buildings are low now, so I can see clear to the 59th street bridge. And I can see sky.

I sit on this island and wait for Joe to finish work, many times he takes too long and I grow restless with a kind of urban island fever. Many times I leave the island before Joe arrives and I wait somewhere else.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Outburst Opportunities

Opposition often occurs by obsessively observing objects,
old ways obstruct open minds
other opinions often offend orthodox oracles.
Ongoing offensive obstinate overblown omnipotence overwhelms ordinary orderly options.
On the other hand, oppression of non-objective object observations only omits obvious
inevitable ongoing outburst opportunities.

When I was in art school I wrote a little book of poems and illustrated it with typography. It was full of alliteration. Each page featured a different letter. The first spread was all words that began with the letter {W}, the second page {O}, the third {R}, fourth {D}, fifth {P}, sixth {L}, then {A} and {Y}. It spelled out {WORDPLAY}, which is all it was. Here is the second installment, its about looking at art.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Alliteration: W

When I was in art school I wrote a little book of poems and illustrated it with typography. It was full of alliteration. Each page featured a different letter. The first spread was all words that began with the letter {W}, the second page {O}, the third {R}, fourth {D}, fifth {P}, sixth {L}, then {A} and {Y}. It spelled out {WORDPLAY}, which is all it was. Here is the first installment, this poem is called Web of Wisdom.

What does your mind wonder when
you witness words working their way?
Whether it woe or whimsy,
weaving a web of wisdom
willfully wrapping, wrapping,
wrapping your weak will into a womb
until you worship what you see written
without so much as a wince.
Will you wonder when words work their witchcraft,
or will you wane and whimper beneath the
wise world of words that whip you with their

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On the Street

Bill Cunningham is a street photographer. He rides a bicycle, wears a blue jacket and takes pictures of people on the street. Other people’s clothing are his absolute raison d’etre. He lives a life of extreme asceticism. Never cooks. Hardly eats. Goes to church on Sunday. Doesn’t particularly care for money. Has few personal items and even fewer personal friends. He attends all the fanciest parties in New York. But he doesn’t party, not one bit. He works instead. Fastidiously chronicling what people wear through his pictures. He has devoted his entirety to searching for beauty. Bill is a fashion monk.

His photo page in the Times is a veritable quilt of the town’s quirk. He shoots pictures of people who are uniquely dressed and then finds other people who are wearing something similar. He follows patterns of color, texture, cut and curiosity. At it since the ‘60’s, Bill captures that quality of New York that makes ordinary people instantly boring. Older ladies in large black rimmed round glasses, couches turned into suits, hats, astonishing egos, pelts, fuzz, feathers, impossible heels. Its magical realism, but its real.

We saw a documentary about his life tonight, its called “Bill Cunningham’s New York”. It was seriously heartwarming and inspiring. It made me wish more people were like Bill.

But before we saw the film, Joe saw him. A few months ago. On the street. Riding his bicycle. Joe approached him and asked him for a picture for his wife, who is me. And so, Bill let Joe take a video of him. You can hear the smiles that ensued between my darling and the city’s humble fashion darling, Bill.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Form Follows Gumption

Writing is deeply personal, even when its not. Lately, I have been trying to write a scientific research proposal. The goal is to convey that my intended project is downright wonderful, without actually saying that. I am learning to hate this genre of writing, and not unrelated to that, I am terrible at it. With each turn of objective-sounding phrase, feelings of inadequacy bloom inside of me.

When I was 14, my English teacher told me that my writing, in a word, sucked. From that, I will never recover. Especially since she repeatedly told me that I looked like Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. And although it wasn’t true, I was flattered. Then she gave me a “D” on my Romeo and Juliet paper. Partly, it was because I didn’t follow the rules. I learned that physical beauty is irrelevant to writing, a fact for which I am increasingly thankful for as I age. But I also learned that I didn’t even know the formal rules of writing.

Then, I was told to stay after class one day in an art history course I took in college. It was a large lecture (in a room where Pratt let the stray cats roam free, so my attention to the course material was periodically interrupted by the onset of allergy anxiety as these no-doubt dirty felines took a haughty seat beside me) and I had never had a face-to-face conversation with the professor before. She told me that my paper, on the topic of Arshile Gorky, was exceptional. I was glowing with abstract expressionistic pride. I just stood in front of the painting for hours and I wrote down exactly what I felt. There were no rules and I was obeying all of them.

So which is it, are there basic tenets to all good writing, or do expectations and genere’s toy with form enough to allow a grammatical ignoramus to excel in one realm and fail in another?

Well, no matter how utterly inadmissible it is that I dont know these rigid rules of writing, I dont really care about them. I just want to write. And I want to write clearly and without pretense. I am not sure this is possible in the case of a grant proposal and I know its not possible in the case of Shakespeare. But I think it boils down to bullshit versus non-bullshit. If you believe what you are writing, then its not bullshit, and you can be frank to the point of blinding clarity. But, to write what you truly believe—whether its on Verona or vermilion—is a tremendous risk, because there is a chance that someone might read it, just as you have, this.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef

I just discovered the work of Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef.
A South African landscape artist who worked in the 1920’s and 30’s.
I am in love with these tranquil sweeping scenes.

(via the always resourceful blog, miss moss), click here for more images.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

settling on snow

Last night the piles of snow in New York turned to icy hard shiny rocks. It was like being on the moon, except that I imagine the moon kinder and with fewer cars.

Today, its gray and misty. It’s a good day to take photographs, the lighting is right. The whole town is cloaked in a soft wintery palette, with persistent patches of graying snow.

There is an obese snow-person on 106th street, with a slice of eggplant as a mouth and pine needles as hair/ears. I know he/she will be here until April.

Some mounds of snow have been shoveled, iced and then lightly snowed on again. They look like giant dirty crumb cakes lying at the curb.

A few parked cars have not been touched since the first storm. They look ridiculous.

The other day I walked through the park and the sun was beaming. The color in the snow shadows was that indescribable luminous lavender/blue that does not exist in any other natural place.

Monday, January 24, 2011


daydreams of contentment
fueled by blonde plywood
and meatballs.
my systematic heart soars
on brightly colored
matte plastic moulded wings.
oh to think!
it will all be organized
and as efficient as a pin.
our home will
exude European ease
everything in its place
saving Scandinavian space.

marching through the labyrinth
with the masses
digression after digression
bins of that and this
useful nicks paired
with their nacks.

couples sitting
in fake kitchens
on imaginary couches
with lists
and tiny pencils
some with raised brows
all with raised hopes.

I spy an item
that dreams couldn’t
even design.
and I am suddenly stricken
with a longing for objects
on the glorious side
of ordinary.

cabinets, shelves, tables,
and table-cabinets
and cabinet-shelves
with every last accessory
sold maddeningly separately
not available in stores you say?
did I take it off display?
no one knows where
I even found it
least of all me.

I emerge slightly deflated
from an inflation I never
even wanted.
I am bewildered
and without a bag.
and with
a cluster of new manufactured
items in my world.
and a modern pain
for the bright ideas that lit
my meandering way
through that store
and then vanished because
they were on back-order.