Not to mention it

The Not To List

Not to sew a robe for anyone

Not to ask for an excuse

Not to wear a hat for a funeral

Not to tell the time for a year

Not to clean a room for a photographer

Not to ask for another chance

Not to fix a sandwich for a questioner

Not to erase a mistake for a reporter

Not to fix a noose for a saxophone

Not to give a shit for logic

Not to hope a day goes by for a minute

Not to worry a teabag for example

Not to make space in a crowd

Not to mention it again

Not to question the powers that be

Not to complain about a bad photograph

Not to be culpable

Not to make that bed again

Not to ask them why why why

The 227 Rules For Monks cover every aspect of their life – from how much fabric can be used to make a robe, to how to walk into a room. Many are variations, refinements of the one before it. So I guess half their time is spent memorizing these rules the rest in enforcing them 🙂 

We live in a world hemmed in by rules almost as restrictive & unevenly enforced. If one is in the right social class they can get away things that others can’t i.e. rape, spousal abuse, homophobia (that list is even longer the the 227 Rules.)

Watching ‘The Crown’ I realized the rules of etiquette for interacting with the Royals was equally as ‘refined’ right down to what honorific is appropriate for different occasions & from different people – Presidents as opposed to other Royals. ‘Your Majesty’ or ‘Your Royal Highness’ aren’t equal & one never says Mrs. Mountbatten or Queenie.

Oh, yes, then there’s the rule where, when dining with the Queen, one must stop eating when she stops & go on the next course but cannot start eating it until she does. One monarch was such a fast eater, often dishes where barely smelled before the new one was served.

So this is a list poem that consists of things ‘not to do.’ Some off which almost make sense, some of which come from my experience with others. I have a good friend who is a real photographer (unlike me who is a point & snap). He wants things as they are as opposed to magazine tidy. Same when he does portraits – ‘Don’t smile.’ 

Some of these rules have a ‘subtext.’ ‘Not to make that bed again’ is about getting out of bad relationships. Unlike some of my list poems this one doesn’t develop a narrative line as it progresses, it lacks inner logic (who give a shit?) The first rule is a direct reference the the 227 Rules. My usual rule is photos & blog content aren’t directly linked 🙂



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at Capturing Fire 2020 – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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