The ordinary class does not object to plastic chairs or utilitarian rooms used for multiple utilitarian purposes: pre-school, ballet lessons, Sunday School, prayer groups, a soup kitchen, evening workshops in crafts. The ordinary class bends over catered tray-lasagne seeping into paper plates balanced on knees and an insulation of paper serviettes. The ordinary class is certain that their salvation resides Wait! Someone said chocolate cake? Oh, a small piece. I really shouldn’t; Not after such a dinner. Some tea with that would be lovely. The cake was leftover from a meeting this afternoon? It’s really good. Chocolatey, but delicious. Karen baked it? Please send our thanks. Certain salvation of the ordinary class, leftover from a meeting this afternoon, sits in plastic chairs attentively noting god and good and education, balanced as warm and sodden paper plates on wads of serviettes.
Our ordinary lives really fascinate me. They seem so unpoetic. Often this ordinary life and its props often just seems brutish and ugly. Plastic chairs, for example, really upset me. On one level they offend my aesthetic sensibility. On another, I wonder why we continue to sit on them and sit on them in the proscriptive, often less than beautiful spaces in which they are to be found.
I often wonder similarly about the food we eat when we gather as groups in these spaces. This food is usually served on paper plates, which do not absorb heat too well and soggy up with the juices of the dish. It is therefore not unusual to find the catered for with knees padded up with the serviettes provided. It’s like a dance of hunched sea creatures, consuming in unison during the incoming tide.
Ordinary life and suburbia feature in my two books of poetry, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys and Shining in Brightness. They are both available for preview and purchase at BeadedQuill’s Blurb Bookstore