From “want warehouses”

Reading poems to warehouses

On the east side of the river, there are
rows of crumbling brick buildings,
an attentive audience, factories busy now
collecting cold air and bird droppings.

I implore these warehouses to assemble
their own flying contraptions out of feathers
preening pigeons have lost inside them,
beg seized-up machinery to remember
how desire once made it tick.

Dear wire fences, dear graffiti, dear broken
windows, dear holes-in-all-our-sides —
hollow is another name for open.
Not every place is suited for the beautiful
echo you produce.


One of the word combinations I discovered in Deb’s lines was “want warehouses.” Though I’d been making notes on a printed list of the word pairs all week, I hadn’t felt any momentum behind them. This morning, I played some with “want warehouses” and tried to make warehouses storage places for desire. I think there’s an echo of that in the poem, but the words got separated. It went from “want warehouses” to “I want these warehouses,” and in the end, I replaced “want” with “implore.” This isn’t one of those poems I’ll keep around for long; it’s one of those poems that — with any luck — greases the works.


5 thoughts on “From “want warehouses”

  1. There’s some great stuff in here, Carolee.

    I like the line(s) Dale mentioned, and the last three lines, especially “hollow is another name for open.” This is the third confluence of writing I have recently read that speak to the fullness of lack.

    I shall have to find those other two (I should have written them down, bad poet) and see what I can beg or borrow into a poem-like thing.

  2. Pingback: Going back a couple months … | A FINE KETTLE OF FISH

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