Thursday, February 25, 2016


Ghosts are squatting still
In the imaginary palace I built
After reading Dame Frances Yates
On the ancient art of memory.
She recommended storing information
And recollections in ordered ranks
In the rooms of some fancied structure
So they could be easily retrieved.
It turns out I have no knack
For building palaces. (My inability
To draw a straight line
Should have tipped me off.)
Though I invite them, no monsters
Will ever stay in the moat. A pig
And three hens live there.
Once in a while a griffon
Who belonged to Pope Gelasius
Perches on the balustrade
(If that odd thing is a balustrade;
I really should have looked
At the definition before building it)

My memories took one glance
And refused to move in. Most of them,
I think, are homeless and living rough
So I can never find them when I want.
They come by when they feel like it
Then leave when I want them most.

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