Tuesday, July 25, 2006


It is the thought of going which is the worst
the piling of clothes into baskets and bags
the multiple trips down the three
flights of stairs
the finding of underwear
or a stray sock
that's lost its way
crouching on a public landing
while I mumble
all i want is a washing machine
over and over to myself.

But once in the car
I think about my blessings
the arms
the legs
the hands
that helped me carry

how I take it all for granted

The clothes spin
I read my book
ignore the five different channels
clattering for attention
and rest in this intersection
of different lives
our dirty laundry
our different stories
meeting for a morning
brushing up against
stained sheets and
sour baby clothes
outside the private darkness
of basements
where bras flip and twist
in their quiet den

missing the act of revelation


Blogger Deezee said...

I love these intersections of worlds....

thanks for the images...

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to think of you at my old laundry haunt on Howard Street...unfortunately an ode to their great folding tables (not to mention the wide selection in the vending machines) didn't make it into the poem! :)

5:10 PM  
Blogger ecm said...

I know...there are probably many laundromat poems to write...including the time I was accused of killing Jesus. And the vending machines have improved. And a Dunkin' Donuts just opened...I had a smoothie :)

5:32 PM  
Blogger twitches said...

I especially like: "where bras flip and twist/lonely/in their quiet den" - the idea of sharing your intimate clothing, and a somewhat intimate moment, with strangers. Also being thankful for what you have, making the most of it.

9:37 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

A great treatment of laundry!

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Since there's no link on this site to email you directly, I guess this will have to do. I just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading your stuff. And not just because I, too, write poems, and because of the fact that I recently concluded 4 1/2 memorable months of teaching. I love your way with words and your perspective on things. I'm all the way out in California and stumbled upon your site after seeing it linked at Confessional Highway, another site I love. In the most recent post on what began as a travel blog (www.TheGreatestYearOfMyLife.com) I mentioned how there are 8 blogs I check every day--yours being one of them. Just thought you'd like to know that there's another stranger in Southern California who's loving what you're doing. Keep up the good work!


3:14 PM  
Anonymous susanna said...

Terrific description of a laundromat. I don't mind doing laundry myself, but what I really, REALLY want is a dishwasher. Grumble, grumble...!

6:27 PM  
Blogger ecm said...

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your kind words. You have motivated me to get an email address to post (thirdstory@gmail.com) I've been trying to get to your blog but have been unsuccessful so far! I'll keep trying!

11:01 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

your writing makes me sigh.
makes me wish it were mine.

also, nice to come here and have a home-connection while i am gone.
shelley and i have made it to memphis.
will talk to you soon.

12:40 AM  

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