I scavenge the depleted memories
of antiquated courtyards
chasing their tatterdemalion slink
through chrome and marble jetsam
across their forgotten brillance
My fingers trace words civil and obscene
and with the tenuous thrum
of broken-stringed tablature
the lost resurfaces
and is jettisoned again

This poem started with a collaborative prompt on readwritepoem– which started with various people contributing the following words:

Tatterdemalion slink across chrome alleys.
Villas deplete memories of sacred tablature.
Antiquated courtyards host tribal artifacts,
which nobody recognizes nowadays, remain
untouched. Yet civil guards scream obscenities.
Lost meditation resurfaces. I brilliant though
forgettable words tenuously scavenge jettison

Like the poem, I sifted through the jumble of words and sifted out those that seemed to have a story… then deleted several of them as it made my poem rather adjective heavy! And here is the result. The poem is also a tribute to the antique markets and stalls of Buenos Aires, full of useless treasures and messages from the past.


4 responses to “antiques

  1. Makes me want to go antiquing in Buenos Aires! I love how you capture the feeling I always have around things that have history – I’m conscious of the depth and preciousness of their meaning and still I can’t help but think they are happier as travelers.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. the lost resurfaces
    and is jettisoned again

    I love the feeling of these two lines. By themselves they made an already wonderful poem a special experience for me

  3. Yeah, I like your version of this prompt.

  4. Just beautiful. I love the line about “words civil and obscene.” I knew you’d do something good with these words.

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