Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Furniture in the Woods

Last summer, I mooched off of Sara's family for two weeks on an epic (I don't use that word lightly) RV trip. During one stop in Maine, I found a book of poetry, "Furniture in the Woods," by a Maine poet, Marty Walsh, at an independent book store. The book is plain, white binding with black print. No art or even clip art. It was only a dollar, so I bought it. It's original sale price was $9, but that was 9 years previously. Oh, the depreciation of poetry.

Being on the "dollar table" at a local bookstore was probably not the career highlight of this local man. Or, maybe it was. I wanted to honor this man, this poet, because he tried. Even if this were the climax of his career, Marty Walsh had at least written about 30 coherent poems, though I would be hard pressed to label them "good." And more than just being written, they were bound into a collection, though simple and not at all glamorous. Marty Walsh, I commend you for trying.

In life, I think I might be Marty Walsh. Okay, I am not Marty Walsh as I do not live in Winterport, Maine, nor do I garden. I suck at painting of all kinds so I could never own a small painting business, whatever that means. I do write poetry, but even that fact is debatable.

Maybe, I am more like the human form of "Furniture in the Woods." I am a collection of attempts to be heard, seen, read. Like when I write poetry and post it on here. Or, when I ask people to shoot hoops. Like this collection, I put forth effort and time and even sometimes money. Also, I think I am on the dollar rack. If the fancy suits you, minor inconvenience to pick me up and take me home. Or, you can pass right by me. Like when I write poetry, post it on here, and no one murmurs, not even a "suck." Just as well, I can be lifted from my table, only to be sat back down before you leave, without me. Like when I ask people to shoot hoops, and they cancel an hour before, leaving me hoops-less and plan-less, not to mention deeply defeated.

So, I feel for you "Furniture in the Woods" and you, Marty Walsh. I'll say it again: thanks for trying. And at least, you were not in the free box.

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