All She Wrote

Harryette Mullen

Forgive me, Iím no good at this. I canít write back. I never read your letter.
I canít say I got your note. I havenít had the strength to open the envelope.
The mail stacks up by the door. Your handís illegible. Your postcards were
defaced. Wash your wet hair? Any document you meant to send has yet to
reach me. The untied parcel service never delivered. I regret to say Iím
unable to reply to your unexpressed desires. I didnít get the book you sent.
By the way, my computer was stolen. Now Iím unable to process words. I
suffer from aphasia. Iíve just returned from Kenya and Korea. Didnít you
get a card from me yet? What can I tell you? I forgot what I was going to
say. I still canít find a pen that works and then I broke my pencil. You know
how scarce paper is these days. I admit I havenít been recycling. I never
have time to read the Times. Iím out of shopping bags to put the old news
in. I didnít get to the market. I meant to clip the coupons. I havenít read
the mail yet. I canít get out the door to work, so I called in sick. I went to
bed with writerís cramp. If I couldnít get back to writing, I thought Iíd catch
up on my reading. Then Oprah came on with a fabulous author plugging
her best selling book.
Originally published in Santa Monica Review, fall 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Harryette Mullen. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

Muse & Drudge [just as I am I come] by Harryette Mullen
just as I am I come
Muse & Drudge [why these blues come from us] by Harryette Mullen
why these blues come from us
Black Nikes by Harryette Mullen
We need quarters like King Tut needed a boat. A slave
Page 1 / Sapphire's lyre styles by Harryette Mullen
Sapphire's lyre styles
Page 34 / if your complexion is a mess by Harryette Mullen
if your complexion is a mess
Page 35 / the essence lady by Harryette Mullen
the essence lady
Page 39 / arrives early for the date by Harryette Mullen
arrives early for the date
Page 5 / sun goes on shining by Harryette Mullen
sun goes on shining
Page 72 / mister arty martyr by Harryette Mullen
mister arty martyr
Present Tense by Harryette Mullen
Shedding Skin by Harryette Mullen
Pulling out of the old scarred skin
Souvenir from Anywhere by Harryette Mullen
Tanka Diary [Awakened too early on Saturday morning] by Harryette Mullen
Awakened too early on Saturday morning
Tanka Diary [Don't need picket fences, brick wall] by Harryette Mullen
Don't need picket fences, brick wall
[Hiking up Topanga Canyon] by Harryette Mullen
[My Visitor from Nebraska] by Harryette Mullen

Further Reading

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Inert Perfection
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by W. S. Merwin
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Night Theater
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by Amy Lowell
by Monica Ferrell
by Marianne Moore
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