et cetera 82707

August 26, 2007

Et cetera denotes importance, but a willingness to not explicate.
Make a list of things, all of stature and pertinence, then let them drift
one by one,
on periodic boats
forgotten at sea.
Make a list of things you hold dear, and spin the clock faster
so there isn’t time to mention them all
home, family, god, etc.
Make a list of things on pedestals, lifted high like a pay stub,
and forget them, each one,
promptness, dedication, accountability, etc.

That grocery list on the fridge started with the kings of importance:
toilet paper
co-axial cable splitter
et cetera
Not that I forgot to put down toothpaste, or garbage bags, or canned peas, etc.
but I’m sure I’ll walk out of the store carrying one less item
than I intended,
as I often do, or have in the past, etc.
Like forgetting to pay the bills on time, or sign that contract, etc.
Or forgetting to call my grandfather, or visit my other grandfather’s grave, etc.

Conversations that include lists are likely to also be lacking, such as,
The students don’t listen to me, and they don’t behave, and they don’t,
and don’t
and don’t
et cetera.
But I wish they would.
Conversations that include lists are likely to be fleeting, unimportant
skipping around topics like rocks over water,
bounding lightly with skill, then sinking fast
running out of steam
running out of power
et cetera, such as,
I’d love to see a day when everyone could just be happy with themselves,
or the day when the innate destructiveness of a soldier’s post is put to rest,
or the peace of mind for my mother,
et cetera.
Conversations that include lists are like this, no?

I remember talking to him one day, and rattling off all the things I’d like in my life
all the things I’d forgotten to include when I was growing up
all the things I’d not taken note of since
Like a willingness to let go and let god
Like a desire for greater fruits in life that mere acquaintance
And the peace of mind for myself
And the days when clouds rolled back to reveal the moon, etc.
Wait, no I remember the clouds that were curtains
and how the gave way to the only distress beacon my heart ever understood.

How can I forget the multitude times my eyes drifted upward like kites
reaching heavy for the shimmer of a chill October wind,
grabbing at moonlight like it was the last rope on the last zeppelin
bound for war?
Or a smile so brief, so fleeting, it was keep locked behind clandestine lips and eyes
away from the world that had forced its flight so many years ago
and turned a once wonderful little girl into a perpetual liar?
And those clover irises. So brief.

Long before I abandoned breasts and the dovey down of a woman, I made lists.
Lists of things I’d needed or wanted, or should do, or should have, etc.
Long before the moon found me lost among searchlight stars of flat plains and high-emission
non-halogen lamps and headlights
There were piles of paper that navigated the day from three degrees of motion
and still, those piles climb my body and brain,
though the paper is less present than before.
Each artifact of daily importance
each monument to organization and templature
each demarcation of who and where, etc.
Separates me further from the things I wish coulda woulda etc.

I wish I spent more time with family
or made better friends faster
or got more out of college, etc.
I wish I would read more books, or write more, etc.
(Let’s shorten this procedure down, let’s be efficient)
I wish I had time, etc.
I wish I, etc.
I wish, etc.
I, I, I, etc.

Et cetera denotes importance, but a willingness to leave behind
to not touch
to turn from.
Et cetera leaves room for that inward silence that is poorly abused.
Where we could take time to pontificate and wonder
we often hurry along.
Et cetera is nothing more than a shortcut
for people like me who can’t stand the thought
of knowing each and every part.
And what fear is there in knowing anything?



  1. This seems bloated.

  2. I’m a bad poet. I agree with Ms. F-Wings, but I may not know what I’m talking about.

    You wanted to know, and I finished Firefly/Serenity and loved them both. Great stuff! I got the new two-disc Serenity last week: sweet packaging and great extras.

  3. *squee* Extras?! Good thing I lost my original copy!

  4. Derek? ahhh! The mystery man reveals himself. Ok, not really, I was just reading http://paganquill.com/about/, how you doing dude?

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