Poetry Friday–Louise Erdich

Today I both organized the Playmobil and cleared the crumbs from under the toaster.

As if I hadn’t been warned.

Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.

Read the rest of this glorious advice at The Writer’s Almanac.  And then go pick up La Rose, Erdrich’s luminous new novel.

With thanks to Mandy from Messy Canvas for pointing me to this wonder of a poem.  More poems + wonder this week at Keri Recommends.

Poetry Friday


  1. decide first
    what is authentic,
    then go after it with all your heart.


    I haven’t read Louise Erdrich for a long time. I read a bunch of her novels years ago. Maybe it’s time to pick up another one.

  2. “Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
    in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
    and talk to the dead
    who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
    patiently on the tops of food jars and books.”

    I love the way “accept new forms of life” follows right after the pink mold in the containers in the sealed cartons.

    And the dead sitting around on the tops of the jars and books…. by that point, I’m thinking: well, of course they do because with all that mess your house now looks like a haunted house. They might as well move in.

  3. Hi Kortney! Oh my, this poem is lovely, and I’m glad to read a recommendation for La Rose. Thank you! Love “Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.” Agree totally!

  4. I love Erdrich’s novels, but her poem strikes a chord even closer to home. The first poet I met told me how she can’t answer the phone, even to a good friend, because if she talked on the phone, her poetry would be finished for the day. I saw that there in Erdrich’s. “Don’t answer the telephone, ever” and I remembered. So true.

    1. There are *calls* in my life that I can’t not answer. I’m looking for ways to preserve that poetry impulse even within the demands of my life.

  5. The Universe really won’t stop hitting me over the head with this message of NOW. The entire roundup is filled with it.

    Love the Erdrich poem. I need to tattoo it on my arm.

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