Scudder’s

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Crossing the threshold,
musty air hinted at
life as a sarcophagus.

Rickety rabbit-warren
staircases hobbled
between lopsided rooms.

It was no surprise
when it burnt down.

But what made it a poem,
was the name:

SCUDDER’S
EMPORIUM
& flea market

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A portrait of the artist as a young museum

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“You belong in a museum!”
Just a homeless drunk’s proclamation,
but she tended to agree.

Then one day: prophecy fulfilled!

She becomes a 1904, North Island Manse of the villa style
(while next door, the Presbyterian Church has been converted).

She loves the 2 mil window panes,
so thin they distort the view,
and in a certain light, and at a certain angle,
she sees Monet in the neighbouring silk trees.

She delights in the scrim and sarking remnants,
where one room reveals it’s hessian walled past
(even the local museum is limited to modern gibbed plaster boards).

She adds her own additions:
turn of the century township photography,
wooden reproduction writing desks,
woolen carpet with antiqued colours,
and rotary dial phone in Bakelite.

It was only her work in paying the mortgage that stopped her
becoming a full-time museum.
Sometimes she’d notice how curated her life was,
so she’d deliberately leave a mess of DVDs in her “living room”,
but really it was just the contemporary section exhibit.

But museums have openings and she
couldn’t red cordon her life forevermore,
but neither could she curate someone else’s life,
and while he talked to her of
Bobbins from old woolen mills he’d
found hidden in antique emporiums,
she wondered if the museum would have to close.

But even museums modernise. She allowed in a smart TV.
She sighs a little, thinking:
“art may sometimes imitate life,
but I wanted my life to imitate art”.

She dreams of smashing the TV,
but not yet,
not while there’s still
love to be found.

Space expectations

You know they can appear bird song floating off a tree branch a cat rocking his cat flap before prancing into the hallway the cyclist appears – disappears – appears in the wing mirror a pot slipping from the poorly stacked dish rack You know they can appear but sometimes you enter that concave zone […]