Michael Mingo: “Indiscriminate Archive”


I’m hoarding issues of the Post-Gazette

in every corner of the house, as though

keeping the news will stop it, or at least

make something beautiful. The photographs,

their faded bands of color ink along

the folded edges, line up in a montage

of former current events: blizzard warnings

gone unfulfilled, the latest Uber scandal,

marches and countermarches head-to-head.

When did I start the process? At what point

did my apathy become an installation—

or was it panic? I can’t say. The weight

of recent history could crush you flat.

It doesn’t matter what, specifically.

Examine anything, and detailed dread

will rub off on your fingers. Hence the hoarding:

I take life only in the aggregate.

The bedroom stack is bending like a stem.

The kitchen stack keeps shifting as I pass it.

I take their swift collapse as imminent.

Michael Mingo received his MFA in poetry from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where he teaches creative writing. His work has appeared in SpillwayHarpur PalateTar River Poetry, and Cherry Tree, among others.

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