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Day 22, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

Museum of the Poor

 

I’ve been to the forest–

and truly, I took the straight way home.

No matter.

I’ve been poor most of the time.

 

When she reads this letter

I will be back in jail.

I hope she will know

how I’ve gone to pieces

been down this hard hill

all to see her at home.

 

From cell to cell

I go: I am one of you,

I know.

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 319)

Day 21, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

To Whom I May Love

 

 

If not pure and rainbowed, what?

 

Love’s havoc

is a forest

of miserable

desperate things.

 

No signs back to

normal life.

 

The time: dateless.

The time: give up.

 

It concerns you, too.

 

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 331)

 

Day 20, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

The Contents of This Mailer

 

 

A guess a wedding a honeymoon an ex

A souvenir of my cleavage when it was new and good

The people you suspected and never found

A telegram that said DON’T WORRY STOP ALL IS FORGIVEN STOP

A letter that just said Stop stop stop

That guard outside Gallup who told me I was hot who couldn’t resist

who wrapped up paper towels and made a gag

The anniversary of my exit

 

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 276(?))

Day 19, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

from September 27

 

About 20 yr ago

my husband + I took a vacation

This we pick up

 

my husband passed away 15 yr ago 49

having two heart attack

I lost 48,000   my home    my youngest son cut and beaten

I have had nothing but Bad Luck

I am sending this back

hoping the curse will leave

 

a widow with nothing but heartbreak

 

Anne

Houston, Texas

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 272, untreated)

 

Day 18, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

My Foolishness

 

In the late hours of an April afternoon

at the shop across from the hospital

I am waiting for an unlucky story to finish

They will tell me at last

what curse I suffer

 

I hope once more to see them

Italy     my daughter    the Painted Desert

the future greeting me with

time for my foolishness

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 405)

 

 

Day 17, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

Place

 

What passed

in year since—

now             at last

now      is the time

 

I resist taking you

a piece of you

 

You belong

where you belong

 

and me

I go back to my kind

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 290)

Day 16: ELJ 30/30 Write Now

Pull the Loose Wire

 

I don’t think I need anything

that won’t work:

my radio

the van we took to Vegas

the telephone.

These won’t send you back

to me.  No,

no returning.

This first morning

is the last of me.

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 266)

 

Day 15: ELJ 30/30 Write Now

The Miserable Pure

 

Back to normal

in the miserable pure:

forests and rainbows

love not the desperate.

The things that reach me

are havoc

and rocks.

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 331)

 

Day 14, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

There and Nowhere Else

 

 

Thoughtless in August,

close to you

among ruins and paintings

with small loose pieces all around–

 

I tried

to stay embedded in you.

But you had no cause

to admire me.

I was one of many, the lowest.

 

I don’t know when I’ll be through that way again.

I am in no state to return.

 

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 143(?))

Day 13, ELJ 30/30 Write Now

Received

 

 

The souvenirs of youth

are selfishness

and limits.

 

I am surreptitiously

thirteen

in my enthusiasm

for pilferage.

 

I have removed

and removed.

 

In understanding

that what I have done

has exceeded

“sorry”—

in that I am old.

 

(Source: Conscience Letter 302)

 

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