Mandira Pattnaik

The Strophic Arrangement in Personal Properties

Oxymoron is a Garage Sale. Like pre-posterous (with the hinder part before), or ass-backwards, or sopho-more (wise-foolish). Beginning with where you park, and ending with what you let go, discard, bundle out. Like boyfriends past. Like shadows of fervent dreams, stores of mind memory caches. If you prefer, it is your first bicycle, yellow resin-molded body, reflectorized pedals; or set of hairbands, good as new, pink and purple, cream and blue; Agatha Christie-s, yellowing pages, little penciled notes; the hand-painted vase --- everything must go. If you ask me, liquidated before the day ends, stuff you've parked in spite of yourself, over the years, like sorrows and sunshine, decidedly non-digital. Everything must end up on the other side of the fence.

Found poetry is a Garage Sale. For Dave Gorman. Let's say, for fancy aspirants to poets and writers. A collage of collectibles. Found and reframed. Two-or- three dimensional art created from used, ordinary items. Let's say Garage Sale is an appropriation. Exciting combinations like an ivory comb with strands of silver hair; beige-velvet sofa pockmarked with stains and little souvenir-slips; Pashmina shawl with yesterday's odors; the ornate mirror of granny's vintage. Let's say they'll find their way into free-form styles, ready to let new dust-memories settle on them.

Set your date, gather your moods, brace yourself for a carnival. May you notice, in your yard, the souls of origami birds meet the ghosts of lovers!


Mandira Pattnaik's writing has appeared most recently in Passages North, Amsterdam Quarterly, ToastedCheese, Bending Genres, Citron Review, Spelk, EllipsisZine, and Heavy Feather Review, among other places. She was also in Ayaskala's July Issue. She is a BOTN 2020 Nominee for fiction. Tweets are @MandiraPattnaik