A Recent Poem…

“Mutter Museum”

Past the warnings
and body that somehow turned into soap.
Past the health challenges
of the 19th century.
Past the many different skulls
with many different complications
and down the wrought iron stairs.
This is where
the collection is kept
of buttons and coins. Drawers and drawers
of pins and hooks and toy cars.
Rocks and horses and little
steamboats that swam
their way down some child’s throat
up his nose or in his ear.
It’s all here.


7 thoughts on “A Recent Poem…

  1. This place is crazy/awesome. Or crazy-awesome. Did they have the exhibit about the debilitating inflictions that occurred during Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific?

    Separate: I like the tone of this poem; It’s jovial and apathetic acceptance. But I would be more interested to see where the writer moves from this moment, what instance/memory/or action happens after the reader is introduced to these images. While it stands as a nice poem on its own, it seems like a terrific jumping point into other subjects.

    Post: That soap-lady is really creepy.

  2. Haha, I took the virtual tour, too, as a refresher when I wrote this. The last time I went there was about 5 years ago, so I’m not sure if they still have the Lewis and Clark inflictions, but I did see them.

    And thanks, Calvin, I agree the poem works as a short little number, but also still needs to be explored and expanded. I’ve been stranded as where to go. This is the essence I want, and sometimes I find adding more can dilute such an essence.

  3. This sounds a bit like the surgical museum I visited in Edinburgh, lots of jars of interesting things, strange surgical implements and diagrams of organs…

    As for the poem: I love the last two sentences!! And I like the fact that the form itself makes me think of jars full of lots of little pieces/details which we can look at without knowing the entire story behind them.

    I like the poem as is, but also agree that the idea could be explored more, or expanded. I think that you might be right about not wanting to add too much because you don’t want to dilute the essence. (Though, as I am sure we all know, sometimes it is a good exercise to try and write more into a poem just to see what comes out of it.) Still, in my opinion if this is part of a larger poem perhaps it would be a self-contained part. Possibly part 1 of a larger poem or series?

    Now I am off to check out the virtual tour: http://www.collphyphil.org/Site/virtualtour.html

  4. Jess, I totally went to the same surgical museum in Edinburgh as well! I remember seeing the exhibit on the primitive amputation tools used in the American Civil War (accompanied by graphic pictures), and later holding back my friend’s hair as she vomited in the facility bathroom. Not a place for the weak of stomach, I guess.

    I think this is kind of funny how your post, Dan, turned into a workshop of sorts. Whoops. I agree with Jess and Calvin that it is always fun to explore other lives for a poem; that is, to write a hundred versions of the same poem and see what happens. Your last line, to me, proved especially revealing. By the voice stating that everything “is here,” I immediately wonder as a reader if everything is indeed there. I.E. The toys the child swallowed are here, and yet the child is not. The Civil War tools are here, but the phantom limbs and the soldiers who once owned them are not. And this possibility you leave at the end (which I think you have to emphasize a bit more for it to really work) is mad creepy, yo.

  5. It might be nice to write this into a series of poems, and maybe number them. Thanks for all the input guys!

    I promise the fact that it may resemble a specimen jar is merely coincidental haha.

    Also, unlike you, Chris, I kinda hate writing different versions of a poem. Because in the end, I have to choose one, and it gets sloppy. I like things in neat bundles. I know, it’s kind of a setback. I’m glad you find it mad creepy, yo!

  6. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

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