In Defense of my Desk

When Brett Jenkins-Braun asked me to photograph my desk for her blog, I quickly snapped and emailed off a few photos. Looking back, I am surprised that I didn't let my propensity to dress up and edit reality take over. I didn't clear off the detritus of textbooks and thesis cardstock. I didn't put my papers at right angles. I didn't give pride of place to my compact OED, which Will Jenkins-Braun nonetheless spotted.

Recently, my desk has become a cluttered storage space for everything I should get to - writing poetry, writing lessons, translating, and typing correspondence. Since the loss of my daughter, I've done very little writing. I've found myself letting letters go unanswered. I went two weeks without checking my voicemail. Cluttered and disorganized, stacked and backlogged - a desk is a good reflection of the inner state of a writer, at least in my case. Perhaps non-writers' inner states show elsewhere.

This desk has been passed around my family. I think it was my sister's originally, probably picked at a garage sale. I commandeered it in middle school. The initials of one of my first girlfriends are faintly carved into the front. Pictures and explanatory notes below:

My desk featuring 1950's era Steelcase office chair, my dad's old typewriter from high school,  a wooden gunpowder box holding bundled rejection letters and office supplies, the compact OED with magnifying glass (though not the original), a white/tackboard with papers stuck to it (mainly relating to my upcoming trip to Torshavn), a picture of me and my daughter Gertrude, and a wooden ball that I bought for my dad, stole, and now use as a paperweight/something to throw in the air when I can't think of what to write.
Apparently I did think to change a thing or two, as there is a stapler in this picture but not the one above. Pink was the only color left at Meijer.

Comments

  1. What a beautiful blog post, M. As always, Will & I have been thinking of you.

    Please expect our Martial submissions soon. We haven't gotten to them yet.

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