Tag Archives: memory

no(w)where?

Our phone calls are become a travelogue:
last week she was at the beach,
on Monday she was visiting her son,
on Wednesday she was at work,
and today she’s in a restaurant waiting for lunch.
But she’s thinking of going home soon.

I don’t query or correct,
Why would I?
when her mind is giving her better stories
than the truth.

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memory is a fickle friend

One of these days I’ll get up early enough to join a dVerse OLN live session… in the meantime, asynchronous will have to do.
This started as a line in my last poem, that a couple of people said they liked.

Memory is a fickle friend at best,
at worst, a false witness.

Like a blind man asking
a confidante to describe a photograph,
we ask her to tell us our past.

But she cannot.
The past is gone.

So memory,
like a historical novelist,
must construct a story from the scraps –
one true enough that the lies don’t catch our eyes,
one false enough that we can stomach it.

And so she obfuscates and extrapolates,
filling in and filtering,
redacting and recolouring
to give us what we want
(or maybe what we need):
a yesterday revised to suit our today.

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telling stories II: only tell your stories to strangers

Be careful what you turn into words,
and who you give those words to.
You never know what they might do to it –
how they’ll scuff or chip or stain it,
so that it’s never quite bright and clean,
never quite perfect, again. Continue reading

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telling stories I: just words

“I’ll talk it all to pieces if I have to tell about it. Then it’s gone, and when I try to remember what it was really like, I remember only my own story”. Snufkin (‘The Spring Tune’, Tove Jansson)

Let me give you a moment of my time –
a memory,
a story –
all that I saw, heard, felt..
how it was
(well, at least how it was for me)
turned to words, as best I can. Continue reading

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