“Having a Clear-Out (to Katia Gregor’s eloquence on the same subject)”

Back on October 9, 2016, on Katherine (Katia) Gregor’s site Scribe Doll’s Musings, she dealt ferociously  and fiercely (and eloquently!) with a subject that has always been a weak area for me, the subject of having a good clearing-out.  So I suppose it was no wonder that recently, faced with a clearing-out need of my own, I decided to write about it, and to dedicate the poem I wrote to her previous writing on the topic.  I’m only hoping that once I finish the preliminaries and get through the grubby bits, that I will be able to get the new bag on the old, tired vacuum cleaner for a clean sweep (a challenge at which I do not excel, usually managing to fill the engine with gunk instead of getting the bag on straight).  Here’s my effort, which I dedicate to Katia:

Having a Clear-Out
(To Katia Gregor's eloquence on the same subject)

Throw out the old holey socks.
Hang all the sweaters and tops
In the appropriate part of the closet.
Do likewise
With the pants and skirts.
The paperwork is enormous,
What to shred, what to save,
Better leave it until the end,
The cocktail party confetti of all the chances you missed
While you were busy playing with papers.
Remember to buy more clothes pins;
There aren't enough.
Fold blankets
And put all but one
Away,
You're alone here now,
And have only yourself
To keep warm,
At least until better days
Come along.
The cat's box is clean,
She under the bed
In her accustomed place
For the day.
She wonders,
But will get her curiosity prowl
This evening,
When it's time to make
Her usual appearance.
Throw away old tissues
  and wrappers
That have accumulated
Around the bedside table;
Reading in bed is said
To be a bad habit,
But one that's lifelong,
So why stop now?
Just remove the clutter and evidence
And no one who might be here by chance
Will care.
One must of course suppose an audience
For most of this to make sense,
As why's one stray hole in a sock
The more or less
Important just for you?
The books, no doubt, are a labor of love,
But they never get sorted and reshelved
Satisfactorily anyway,
So let them stay where you can find them,
Ready-to-hand
The next time there's no clearing-out
To take up an idle day.
For, somehow,
You thought it'd take longer,
The ordering of a whole life to date;
Is there really that little,
You ask yourself,
Or have I already disposed
Of that much before?
Did I throw out anything
Unwarily,
That I might need?
A moment's anxiety,
A moment's thrill
At the unexpected danger;
And now that there's room,
Who knows what next
Will step over the doorsill?

©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 1/22/17

There is a difference, of course, at least one, in Katia’s creative post on clearing out and mine:  hers and mine were occasioned by different things, and went in somewhat different directions.  Still, I wanted to dedicate this poem to her because I thought of her when I was clearing out and also when I was writing this poem.  Katia, you make good things happen!  Shadowoperator

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9 Comments

Filed under Full of literary ambitions!, Poetry and its forms and meanings

9 responses to ““Having a Clear-Out (to Katia Gregor’s eloquence on the same subject)”

  1. Thank you for the nod to me! May all good things now blow into your home!

  2. That’s a fun poem and a lovely tribute.
    Have you read Marie Kondo? I had clear-out last year after reading her book.

    • Thanks for the read and the appreciation. I don’t recall running across Marie Kondo, no. Do you want to say why her book affected you as it did? Henry David Thoreau says something about “How many a man dates a change in his life from the reading of a book,” or words to that effect. It seems to be very true, sometimes.

      • It’s a book about the Japanese way of clearing out with intrsuctions and all. It’s entertaining and helpful. Only the part on books didn’t work for me as she urges people to get rid of almost all of them. Nonetheless, I thought it deserved the hype.

  3. It sounds like a good book, provocative, at least. I do have to say, though, that my own mother has been urging me Kondo-like to get rid of books for the last 40 years or so, and it’s never worked yet! Books and I are bound together!

  4. I like the feeing of worry and then excitement about what could have accidentally been thrown away, its proper drama is that! I like the getting rid of evidence for reading in bed as well, I always treat it almost like a crime, short of worrying about anybody dusting for fingerprints. You make tidying up sound almost sexy!

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