Wednesday, November 4, 2015


On the advice of Dame Frances Yates
I built a memory palace years ago
(A small one; more a villa, really)
Stocked with symbolic statues,
Enigmatic pictures, weapons, geegaws,
And instruments I cannot play –
All intended to refresh my recollection
Of the vast stores of information
I intended to acquire. (My childhood
Was a series of flags, a flutophone
And a gaudily dressed toy bear).
When my house vanished I moved
Into the palace's old stables
Where someone -- not me; I can’t drive –
Had abandoned a Knox Runabout
With three flat tires. The palace itself
Has been much abused; cats and ninjas,
For no reason I can understand,
Broke in and, apparently disheartened
By the paltry memories I'd left,
Sanded some down and repainted them
Sold or gave away many others,
Dragged in things that caught their fancy
And rearranged everything. I am pretty sure
I was not actually the criminal mastermind
Known as the Dreadlord Zircon 
The summer after fourth grade and yet
I recall so clearly the highlights of his career
And --if the statue of Trismegistos isn't lying –
Exactly where my gang and I hid our loot.

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