(un)Sunday’s (un)poem post

The poem below is about an (un) family–one that appears to be something that it’s not–a family where things seem to be order–but are, in fact, far, far from ordinary.  It’s about family dysfuntion on a massively deceptive scale. 

We wear nice clothes.  We drive nice cars.  We go to church, to school.

But–we are, in fact, none of those things. 

We are the inversion of family.


everything begins and ends
     with appetite
                                the edge
of the photograph
     where the girl’s
     arm ends
                                and the tablecloth
begins again its
     grammar of red
                and white
father / mother
in their places
     knives to the right
     roast chicken
                                relics of
10,000 family dinners
                                that swim
     white cat
     cadmium yellow
to the windowsill
     on the east side
               of the house
                                where we
have set blue mason jars
     absorbing particles
                of spring
                                the early
     face of april growing
                in the yard
seeming untime
work room
wood floor
tangle of limbs
always never

poem about a table?

“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—“
                –Emily Dickinson
in the center where the people
should be is a red and white
checked cloth which covers the
dining room table where the
parent is working.  the parent
has cut up the picture in order
to save space in the sticky
plastic-covered pages of the
family photograph album.
i want to write a poem about
this picture with a hole in the
center where the family should
be, but the parent says i should
write about something else.
perhaps then this is not a poem
about the picture.  perhaps it’s
not the picture that’s important.
perhaps it’s the table.
think about the table.