‘Garage Sale’

Ok. I started typing my entry about the Third Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and I have yet to finish. I guess this means it should be my main goal of the weekend to complete that post. But until then, I want to share a poem by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Bosselaar and Kurt Brown taught at the festival last year; however, they attended this year as observers. I adored Bosselaar last year, so I was excited when I found out she brought a few advance copies of her latest book, A NEW HUNGER, which is now on sale. Buy a copy ASAP!

I wanted to share a poem titled “Garage Sale” that Bosselaar read at the Second Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival (it’s in A NEW HUNGER). I envy the poem’s ending– beautiful, biting…. I remember the slap I felt when I heard her read it.


      I sold her bed for a song.
A song of yearning like an orphan’s.
Or the one knives carve into bread.

      But the un-broken bread
song too. For the song that a river
sings to the ferryman’s oars–with

      that dread in it.
For a threadbare tune: garroted,
chest-choked, cheap. A sparrow’s,

      beggar’s, a foghorn’s call.
For the kind of song only morning
can slap on love-stained sheets —

      that’s what I sold my mother’s
bed for. The one she died in. Sold it
for a song.

I think ‘Garage Sale’ is my favorite poem by Bosselaar at this time. Following closely in second by her is “Stillbirth,” which is also found in A NEW HUNGER. Then, as if you really care, my third fave by her is “Dinner At Who’s Who,” which can be found on her webpage; I had the pleasure of hearing her read that one last year. I find it is a delicate treat to hear a poet you adore read his/her own work.

2 responses to “‘Garage Sale’

  1. Dustin, I really love the rhythm of this poem. She manages to convey IN the rhythm, the emotions she herself experienced in the selling of the bed. For the reader–it’s a feeling of building intensity- WHO’s bed is it, WHY is it being sold?What is the FEAR, (the fear of loss…is selling it, causing the seller to “lose” something, besides the bed?)
    I’ll have to check her book out!

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