junk wood

When I was in my teens and twenties, I saw poetry everywhere in the world. No matter where I looked, I encountered phrases that were weird and beautiful. I wrote poetry often, finding inspiration in the mundane and the sacred.

That ability has slipped away from me over the years. I’m not sure if I became more prosaic, or if my brain rewired itself in some fundamentally un-artistic way, but I’m just not as open to word salad as I once was.

Earlier today, I was driving to Bland State Capital, and I seemed to have a brief reconnection with the poetry of my youth. A tractor trailer with nothing but two words written on it: “Junk Wood.”

I spent a fair amount of time wondering what, exactly, junk wood is. And how there could be so much of it to fill a whole tractor trailer. And whether or not I could burn junk wood in my fireplace, to beat the cost of natural gas this winter.

Junk Wood–it’s not just for kindling anymore.


November 7, 2007. memory.


  1. CamiKaos replied:

    I have the same problem. Everything was poetic in my younger days and now… not so much.

    Junk Wood.

    They are great words together.

    PS how come you haven’t added me on Facebook lady.

  2. chichimama replied:

    Junk wood? Now I am very curious as to what exactly junk wood is too.

  3. alala replied:

    Probably the same as the German “sperrholz,” which is shredded and then packed together and covered with some kind of laminate to make cheap furniture. Like those Ikea shelves.

  4. jen replied:

    I remember reading “Prayers of Steel” in high school and just about bursting into tears. Now I read Sandburg and I think, what was I so worked up about?? Such an odd feeling.

  5. MommyWithAttitude replied:

    Me too. I think it has to do with having too many things to keep straight (where the kids have to be, what’s going on at work, if there’s any food in the house for dinner, etc.).

    But I have gobs and gobs of scrap pieces of paper that have little phrases scratched on them that once upon a time I intended to put into a poem or story. Some of them I read and think, Oh that’s clever or oh that’s funny or oh that’s interesting. But often I think — oh what a dipshit I was in my twenties!

  6. thordora replied:

    It’s a matter of perspective, and keeping the ability to see things with that eye. It’s hard to hang onto, believe me. But it’s worth it. 🙂

    Junk Wood. Huh.

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