Saturday, November 11, 2006


Personal Inventory

I unscrewed the top of my head today
Just for fun
Placed my dome carefully on the table
For later
Fished around with a tiny teaspoon
You wouldn’t believe what I found in there
My first dog’s name
A linoleum floor I don’t recognize
The one egg my dad ever cooked for me
The textured pattern of my grandmother’s carpet
A garden where dead things grew
The incident with the crutch
The window I broke and lied about
And things too horrible to admit
I screwed the top of my head back on
For good

By Dennis Tkon Copyright 2006


Natalie said...

Hee hee! I bet that was a good egg, or was it really bad? Seeing as it was the only one? I presume it was the only one he ever cooked for you and not the only he ever cooked....ever, if you know what i mean. Some poignancy here too Dennis, must it go back on for good? Was the windw incident just too much? Best wishes Dennis, i've missed your posts.

Dennis said...

Natalie – This was a fun post. Actually, the egg was delicious, but most memorable because it was the only time my dad ever cooked ANYTHING for me. I was three and I remember it like it was yesterday. Unfortunately its one of only a few fond memories of him. He was rather a bastard! (smiling now thinking back). The window incident wasn’t that big of a deal, it’s just funny that when I did this exercise, it came back to me. Now the incident with the crutch . . . THAT was a big deal!!! I know it seems I’m putting my lid back on “for good” but that’s just me having fun with double word meanings. I don’t think we can really put a lid on it forever. I was just suggesting that I’d put it on for the better, since I was recalling un-pleasantries. Just to make it stop. HEY! Thanks for reading my stuff and always offering way-cool comments so regularly! You’re great!

Dennis -

Anonymous said...

I like this one, too, Dennis. When I saw that last line "for good" I thought that too many negative memories were floating to the top and you just needed to put a lid on it, needed some "good" ones to counteract the negativity. Allowing a little at a time is being gentle with yourself. That's a good thing. More of the good memories will come to the surface, too, once you've freed a lot of that negativity. Cheers to you for your tough work!

Dennis said...

Robin – again, thanks for your thoughts. I know what you mean when you talk about being gentle with yourself. My model for consciousness is a three-legged stool. Consciousness is the seat. One of the legs is being gentle with yourself (and others) the other two legs are being in the adult and residing in the loving heart.

my backyard said...

This list is hilarious!

Dennis said...

Thanks MB - Glad it made you laugh.

Beloved Dreamer said...

Why is it always the past we write and think about around christmass?This was a great poem both funny and sad. loved it.
Have a merry one


........deb said...

I really like this poem. The structure of it as well as your "discoveries". Freewheeling, funny, poignant, yet mannered (or maybe it's the structure talking to me).
Anyway, great mix.

Poet with a Day Job said...

Ah Dennis - you really do have my number! This is great, and such a lovely illustration too. How many times have I been spinning like a centrifuge wishing, just wishing I could "scoop out that part of my brain" giving me so much pain?

I am particularly fond of: "The one egg my dad ever cooked for me" because one of my favorite memories is the rare occasion on which my father would cook me a cheese omelette.

Clockworkchris said...

Wonderful! And you say I'm prolific but I don't get as much in 20 poems as you do in one. This is so original. I could do one like it, but I have nothing to hide. I'm all out in the open and love for people to ask those questions that make others feel all like "Why are you asking me that, you barely know me?" You made me laugh and I needed it.

twitches said...

I'm fascinated by that linoleum floor...

Jon said...

I do love the ambiguity of the "For good" that this ends with. "For good" as in forever? For the good of your readers? For your own good? Or for the good of the memories themselves? Perhaps there's not that much good in taking out memories one teaspoon at a time . . . perhaps they only are good when they are all mixed up in the complete, wondeful gumbo of all the other memories?

Wonderful poem.

(p.s.--at much more length than you could possibly have wanted, I did try to answer your question about my poem in my comments section. Thanks for stopping by and making me think again about my own work.)

blackbank said...

This was fun. I was lucky - my father did all the cooking; my mum's skills ran out after cooking rice. That's why I can cook. Just hope my son takes after me. And the last line summarises really how we should all deal with the past. BB