Representations of Home Creative Journal

ROAM - Spring/Summer 2021 - ROAM 1

Chrystal Hurdle


I borrow a library copy of Dafoe’s Journal of a Plague Year
had gotten rid of my own annotated paperback months back
when death decluttering
because tales of infection rate and brutal death
strangely did not spark joy

But now needs must as I
repurpose old things
I regret the last box donated to Big Brothers
what I might have used
takeout chopsticks, fibreboard furniture, toddler toys, bedraggled jockey shorts, stilettos, books

at least thirty years old,

a dented Dutch oven

how I could have would have banged on it

at the seven o’clock cheer

societally sanctioned rage

anything to get me out of the house

now I shiver in the carport

my family warm and away inside

weave old fabric through a neighbour’s abandoned

chairs, only wire frames left

the cane eaten away

we need more chairs so that the family can party

with other people, thank God, other people

in the driveway when summer comes, if?

reprovisioning now both art and craft
satisfying frugality
war measures
and it gets me out of the house

Marie Kondo says when downsizing and tidying

look at all items from one category together

but how to gather all of one item
with everyone tele-working
each room an office
how can each thing have one “home”?

and a domicile is no longer home,

but incarceration with frantic family
Solitary confinement too hard on criminals

now a discarded practice to be wished for

I’d pick it up in a flash in a thrift shop
when one opens in a new normal

laptops cables papers school packs multiply on every surface
duplication, triplication, all family members to use all
we’re all in this together
fuck, all of us

Marie says sentimental items to be saved to last
if we last that long


too bad we can’t restrict stress

to a single closet in a single room
too bad we can’t restrict family
quarantine and social distance away from them
home is where the hard is


now in these times of quarantine
when isolating with family
for stress reduction

Marie advises us to declutter
I think of the chopsticks, the stiletto heels
already discarded on her say-so
If I’m not too sentimental

I’d love to bring those bayonets back
how penetrating in skin so soft
desperate times call for desperate measures
war measures, so tidy

sparking joy

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