So much goes through one's mind while washing the dishes, the steady rush of warm water, the grease sliding into clean. I am remembering a poem by one of Katie's colleagues, I think it was Tiffany Promise, read at a Sprawl two years ago, about washing dishes. Descending into the sink with them until the water runs clear. So good!
I had been toying with the idea of writing poems about housework. The question of - has it been done, does that devalue the project - or the singular idea of a dishwashing poem? Or are there never any new ideas, just reformulations and new combinations of the old? I took Harryette Mullen's Recyclopedia off the shelf to look for housework poems. Here's one:
"Hide the face. Chase dirt with an ugly stick. That sinking sensation, a sponge dive. Brush off scum on some well scrubbed mission. It's slick to admit, motherwit and grit ain't groceries." (Mullens, p. 95)
She read at the Les Figues BBQ and I felt so stupidly shy for not telling her how much I enjoyed her work. I got weirdly starstruck, as I sometimes do.
I suppose all of this writing around the dishes is not doing the dishes, and the dishes won't do themselves.
But I am also interested in this idea of ownership of ideas. An old friend contacted me this morning about my use of the five-part structure, apparently he is also writing a five-part book, and feels thus that I should not.
However, there are only so many numbers under seven - at which point you've got an epic tome on your hands, might as well just call them chapters and call it a day. I feel that whatever we do around the structure, the ivy wrapping around the frame, will be vastly different.