– Just to say

First of all, this is just to say that the following poem is one by William Carlos Williams that I’ve never really liked. I knew in high school I was supposed to like it, for its straightforwardness maybe, its use of the word “delicious,” but I don’t think I ever did. I do like the sound of “icebox,” yet I don’t like the sound of the word “breakfast” (a stack of consonants and blends!), even though I do like to eat it.

Yet, the title, This Is Just to Say, has been speaking itself to weary me as I stand in front of the sink and look out on ladders in the back yard and see paint splashes in the sink or sit at the kitchen table and hear the builders thumping and singing upstairs, as if our house is their house. This is also just to say I want my house back.

Back in March, on the verge of construction moving from the outside to the inside

You can read the WCW poem and see if you like it. Then you can read my words crammed into his structure. I know white space is important in his work, but there is no space in my life right now and so no extra space between the lines of my attempt.

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox


and which

you were probably


for breakfast


Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold


–William Carlos Williams


This Is Just to Say

We have endured
the guys
who are in
our bedrooms

and whom
you were possibly
to hire

Pity us
they are industrious
yet such bulls
and so loud

–Jane Elizabeth Kokernak


Picture taken by Jimmy on March 11, 2008.

3 thoughts on “– Just to say

  1. Wow. I wish I had written that. What a perfectly lyrical summation of the violation that happens during construction. And what an accurate photograph to accompany it. They are industrious; they are useful–but the “bullness” of them tramples us.

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