Friday, November 15, 2013

A Dirty Kitchen Secret



I hate to be the one to break it to you, but today is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.  Trust me, it's true.  Would I be so cruel as to make something like that up?

Did you know, most Americans only clean their refrigerators once or twice a year?  (All together now: "Eeeeuw!")  This is according to an article in the Wall Street Journal-- a source renowned for its housecleaning expertise, or so I've heard.

The time has come, my fellow Americans.  Today's the day!  You want to make room for all of those turkey and pumpkin pie leftovers, don't you?

So in honor of the occasion, today's little ditty has transformed the aforementioned article, aptly titled "Why Won't Anyone Clean Me?", into a "found poem"-- one that takes words and phrases from an existing text and refashions them to create something new.  I've been wanting to try my hand at a found poem for some time now.  Notwithstanding the pungent odors and harmful bacteria, it was fun.


     A Dirty Kitchen Secret

     Forgotten in a corner,
     he didn’t notice
     the surface tension,
     the “ick” factor,
     bubbling up
     around the perimeter
     like spilled soda from a can.
     Good intentions
     allowed to ripen
     “out of sight, out of mind”
     until what ensued
     was chaos, all levels
     of refrigerator nastiness.
     Soda in the crisper,
     milk in the door,
     leaks from raw meat,
     dog licking the bottom shelf, 
     no clue what to do
     with the special
     cheese compartment,
     and high-tech solutions
     thwarted by consumers
     who try to salvage
     old salad dressing.

       © 2013 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes. All rights reserved.


Jama Rattigan, our favorite foodie with a heart of gold, is serving up today's Poetry Friday roundup with a cup of tea and an apple pumpkin walnut muffin.  Seriously. Yum.  You'll find her at Jama's Alphabet Soup.


...Mortimer???

34 comments:

  1. Oh my, Michelle, ew-w-w-w is so right! Do people really try to salvage old salad dressing? I just found an ancient can of that 'aerosol' whipped cream. I don't use it, buy it for a few things sometimes, & found it had mold on the tip! Ew-w-w-w! again. The challenge I know in my life is the staff refrigerator-I don't touch it, but a few of my saintly colleagues do clean it once in a while! Love the poem the lines found like "soda in the crisper, milk in the door"-a good rhythm! And that pic-hilarious! If you've read my saga of the rabbits and my car wires, the pic is not soothing-they're everywhere! Thanks for a good smiley post this am!

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    1. And thanks for your lengthy, smile-inspiring comment! Last I heard Linda, you had an upcoming appointment with the non-Honda mechanic, scheduled for today wasn't it? Hope a permanent and cost-effective solution can be found! Will wait eagerly for your next installment in the bunny saga...

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  2. Oh my, clever poem, but did you have to remind me? I'm afraid to open my fridge. :) I just happen to have several bottles of salad dressing that need to go. Pass the gas mask. Hilarious photos -- actually I wouldn't mind finding a bunny sometime. :)

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    1. Sorry, Jama. If I didn't just clean mine a couple weeks ago, the guilt may have prevented me from even writing this post! ;)

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  3. I laughed out loud to see Mortimer on the shelf! Now I wonder if bunnies have a good sense of smell? At least his fur provided good insulation from the chill!

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    1. Yes, he does get around, doesn't he! Thanks for stopping by, Cathy.

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  4. I can tell you had fun with today's poem and all its "levels of refrigerator nastiness"! Your photo reminds me of the time my bird flew into the fridge. I had opened it to get something out while she was on my arm and I didn't notice that she flew in before I closed the door! Then I wondered where she went. (I figured it out pretty fast and she was fine.)

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    1. I did have fun with this poem! (Much more so than actually cleaning the fridge.) When I found the rabbit photo, there were also quite a few with cats peeking out, but no birds. Missed photo opportunity, eh Tabatha? But I'm glad she's okay.

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  5. Oh, you are supposed to clean them?

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    1. LOL! Remind me never to accept your dinner invitations. ;)

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  6. My least favorite chore...but now that you have reminded me.... Loved the clever poem, full of revolting truth.

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    1. Revolting truth is becoming the way of the world, I dare say.

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  7. This makes me feel even more virtuous for having thoroughly (and I mean unscrewing things thorough) cleaned our fridge last month to combat a black mold infestation! Whoo hoo ahead of the game for once! Awesome use of the nonfiction article as farm for the found poem, too.

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  8. I love this: Good intentions
    allowed to ripen


    A job well done, Michelle!

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    1. Thanks Diane! :) I kind of fancied that line as well.

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  9. The only thing worse than my fridge is grandma's!

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    1. Mmmm... and I didn't even touch on the part about food being packed so tightly it impedes air flow.

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  10. I love your found poem! But what IS Mortimer doing in that fridge?

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    1. Thanks Ruth. I'm not sure how Mortimer got in there, but he seems to be hiding something. Might have something to do with the beer he's crouched in front of...?

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  11. Hi, Michelle. Ugh -- you had to remind me! Great found poem. I liked the rhythm of this list:

    Soda in the crisper,
    milk in the door,
    leaks from raw meat

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    1. Hey Laura. Sorry to have reminded you, but maybe you can jog my memory... who was it that turned me on to bizarre holidays? I'm just sayin. ;)

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  12. Ewwww---I'm wondering when you came and spied on my kitchen? I'm glad I didn't read this until Saturday, so I have escaped having to clean out our fridge--though it's on our to-do list. Great poem! The leaking meat made me a bit queasy, though. That's the one fridge sin I do not commit.

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    1. Really? Is Mortimer in your fridge too? Glad to hear he's hanging out in an E. coli-free zone!

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  13. I loved the poem, you killed me with Mortimer in the fridge, and then I read the original article -- I really appreciate (and marvel at!) how you took different lines and gave them your own unique twist. Well done, friend!

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  14. Oh Michelle, this made me laugh aloud today. It's like you've taken a peek at my kitchen and knew exactly what needs to be done with it. Beautiful poem. And yes, I'd get to that cleaning out soon - before the New Year! :)

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    1. So glad I could give you a laugh, Myra... now get to work! ;)

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  15. You crack me up, Michelle! Love your poem. I'm wild for found poetry and find in school visits that kids love trying it too.

    Who knew there was a national date to clean the fridge? Don't look in mine. Since I missed it, guess I'll have to wait til next year.

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    1. One bonus about featuring you on my blog, Robyn, is that I've learned so much about you! I'll have to try to get a hold of Georgia Heard's anthology of found poems, The Arrow Finds Its Mark. Would love to read some of your found poems.

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  16. This is hysterical! Well done, Michelle! And Mortimer in the fridge is too much. I haven't done a found poem yet - yours is truly inspired! Or is that EXpired? :)

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    1. You're too funny, Renee! Some days inspired, some days expired... such is life I suppose. ;)

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  17. Haha! That is a really cute poem right there, Michelle. It really is shocking how most Americans fail to clean out their refrigerators, considering that it is one of the most important appliances we use, especially that we store our food in there. We really must try to do regular maintenance on our refrigerators more.
    Dwight Franklin

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  18. It sounds funny, but the statistics are disheartening. It means that either many Americans don’t place a high importance on their health or they are not well-informed that a dirty refrigerator increases the risk of food poisoning. By the way, that is a great poem! Also, is that a real rabbit in the fridge? That’s funny!

    Lewis Simpson

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