Look in all the usual places.
My ear is a purse into which I
placed all your stories.

Where is the name I
cannot remember today?
Faces crowd my brain and I
wonder if we are invisible.

Go through the alphabet and I
might find the path back to it.
Open for clues, how many times I
pretend to know the future.

Names crowd in and I
ponder; was it Keats or Shelley’
or Dorothy Parker whom I
swear liked the word woebegone?
(Image by Audrey Mabee)



  1. A great piece bookended by memorable lines. I think that ‘woebegone’ could be found in the works of any of that trio (or aptly applied to their personalities). Nice work.


  2. Thanks Mike. I’m happy you liked the poem and its significance! Lapses of memory tend to make the cheeriest of people woebegone! Luckily most names re-occur in the middle of the night—- never to be seen again.


  3. It was me that liked the word woebegone! A real gem. Great fun poem.


  4. Lovely poem, I especially like the ear image. I am being drawn to poetry at the moment, although it is a mystery to me. It seems there are rules!


  5. Oh, poor midwestern me. I never can hear “woebegone” without thinking of Lake Woebegon,and, hence, Garrison Keillor. But once I’d washed off the word and gotten all those associations off it, I saw it for what it was: a perfect word for your poem.

    I love the imagery of someone digging around in the bottom of their brain, trying to find that lost set of names. Very clever, and so, so true. I hate it when I’m searching for a word that just won’t come. Thank goodness they often do pop up in the middle of the night. I’ve learned that, when they do, the appropriate response is to get up immediately and write down the word. “I’ll remember it in the morning” doesn’t cut it any more.


    • It doesn’t even work to write it down without actually getting out of bed! You can’t read your writing the next day! I get the best ideas in the night. Too bad I can’t remember them in the morning.

      For names I always start with the alphabet, but if you can’t think of the second letter, it sometimes doesn’t work. But they do pop up unannounced if you’re patient.

      They had a program of Garrison Keillor about a year ago with Meryl Streep singing. Very cool. Remember “Postcards From the Edge”? She did a terrific Western song.


Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: