Clareified

Where does the good go

Tricks of memory

I trust my memory above all things.

Its images and words are crystal clear to me. For particularly memorable moments, I can recall whole scenes, word for word; gesture for gesture at a moment’s notice. They can make me laugh or cry as sincerely as they did as those episodes unfolded in real time. I often have to remind myself that 1. Not everyone can do this and 2. It’s kind of weird and I really shouldn’t go around acting like stuff that happened ten years ago, is still real or relevant. No matter how vivid it is to me.

Elana once made me laugh in that “ouch, I better laugh or else I will cry” kinda of way when she said that she has the same problem sometimes.

“What do you mean you don’t remember that we had lockers next to each other in the eight grade? Oh, you’ve married, graduated from medical school and had three kids since then…right. Understandable.”

Yep. That’s just about it. Memories are great, as long as you remember that they are frozen in time, not you.

But, when the time is right, it’s cool to be able to hit “slideshow” in your mind, sit back and enjoy.

In D.C. by Elizabeth Alexander

In D.C. there are black women
with golden Afros and African-
print jumpsuits. Sidewalks sizzle

in summer, a languid,
loving fizz, a Hey Girl
hissing from the streets,

ambient, hey girl on all sides. Walk
up and down Georgia Avenue
or Florida Avenue or Columbia Road:

How you doin’? Hey.
You never know what you will miss
when you leave, what will call you

back, what will disappear
forever, or what was never there
quite as you now see it, hear it, write it

in memory’s poem.

14 Responses to “Tricks of memory”

  1. Pearatty Says:

    Hi poetry Wednesdays!

  2. Elana Says:

    I remember that. Like it was yesterday!

  3. F-Train Says:

    You trust your memory above all things? Given that you don’t remember being told by TWO separate people to visit the City Museum in St. Louis, I think your trust is misplaced.

  4. F-Train Says:

    P.S. Look at me leaving a comment on a Poetry Wednesday post. No wait — two comments!

  5. Pearatty Says:

    I believe that it is inane that it is Friday, and there hasn’t been a post here since Wednesday.

  6. F-Train Says:

    Seriously! If it’s going to be demanded that I comment often — and believe me, it is demanded — then I feel like it is acceptable, perhaps even obligatory, that we demand Dawn posts often.

  7. Tae Says:

    I was just wondering where inane Friday was.

  8. Pearatty Says:

    Inane comments Friday may be dead. This blog may be dead.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

  9. Dawn Summers Says:

    We were too sad to post.

  10. Pearatty Says:

    Aw. Now I feel bad. Were you sad because it appeared inane comments Friday was dead? Because look! Not dead!

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    No, I was sad because everything everywhere is always bad. But now I’ve accepted that everything everywhere is always bad, but we will die.

  12. Dawn Summers Says:

    Oh and then I bought myself a snow cone machine.

  13. Pearatty Says:

    Did the snowcone machine make everything better?

    Now I’m feeling kind of depressed.

  14. Dawn Summers Says:

    two words: buy one.

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