Alec Soth's Archived Blog

May 11, 2007

Friday Poem

Filed under: poetry — alecsothblog @ 6:49 am

Ruined Histories

by August Kleinzahler

You so love these photographs, too well perhaps,
and rush to frame the moment, press the shutter,
and get along with this dollhouse saga
you had rehearsed before it ever came to be.

Ah, Little Girl Destiny, it’s sprung a leak
and the margins are bleeding themselves away.
You and I and the vase and stars won’t stay still.
Wild, wild, wild–kudzu’s choked the topiary.

Looks like your history is about to turn
random and brutal, much as an inch of soil or duchy.
Not at all that curious hybrid you had in mind:
Jane Austen, high-tech and a measure of Mom.

You’re lost, desolate as Savannah after Sherman.
The lavender sachet, marbled storybooks,
the ring Grandma left you, poor Damien’s love letters . . .
It’s just your eyes, ass, me and a broken Nikon.


  1. Just what I needed this Friday, thanks Alec. I love it.

    Comment by karolina — May 11, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  2. Damn, that’s a great poem, with a last line that makes laying everything else to waste worthwhile.

    Comment by Jorn Ake — May 13, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

  3. William Carlos Williams summed it up in a few perfect words:

    The Red Wheelbarrow

    so much depends
    a red wheelbarrow
    glazed with rainwater
    beside the whitechickens.

    Comment by Peggy Nolan — May 14, 2007 @ 9:41 am

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