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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets
(2006)

Walsh, Timothy, 1958-
Blue lace colander,   pp. 65-67


Page 65

 
Blue Lace Colander 
This would have been a poem about a colander, 
a philosophical poem, startling and provocative, 
but her blue lace underwear was so distracting- 
peeking out above her low-cut pants 
where she sat with her back to me in the coffee shop- 
that I lost what would have been the first line 
     of this poem. 
Lost it completely. 
I probably could have reconstructed it 
if I pounced right on it, 
but the delicate blue lace of her underwear 
kept derailing my attention 
as she twirled strands of her hair 
round and round her finger. 
She seemed to be working hard on something 
and was not distracted by the noise and the bustle 
     and the cell phone voices 
just as I am not distracted by these things. 
As far as I remember, this poem would have partly been 
to explain why I keep an old enamelware colander 
     by my writing desk, 
up on a windowsill 
where it collects the morning sun 
and leaks sunlight through its patterned perforations 
     onto my page. 
I think I was going to make the case 
that all existence could be explained by this colander- 
how the vast stream of impressions and sensations 
passes through us like pasta water through a colander, 
our minds retaining only the bulkier strands 
    while the fluid passes through. 
65 


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