POETICS: “Appalachian Marie Kondo” by Crystal Good

By Crystal Good

It took a global pandemic for me to organize my life —
journals, photos, ideas, mementos, clothes, closets, and junk drawers. 

I have five bathrooms, a basement, a third floor, and a garage. 
I have never mastered organizing my own home. 

My Mom supplied years of her method.
Décor in yard sale and estate finds.

Color-coded my closets while organizing me
into Ziploc bags and Dollar Store boxes.

I live in the disorder of a missing mother. 
I sit in the middle of my mess. 

I hear my mother’s voice: 
You don’t need this. 

This doesn’t fit. 
When was the last time you used this? 

This is ratty, Crystal
The laughter of, remember this!

My ability to sort, decide, and organize comes in easy. 
I fold shirts the way I was taught, roll them

I open drawers and close them in awe 
of nature—or is it nurture? 

My lineage is sealed tight in a Mason jar with a lid marked, FOR HAIR.
My past is vacuum sealed in Dollar General bags. 

A lifetime can be zipped into clear bags that once held comforters. 
This method. Hers is mine. 

Get rid of what doesn’t fit. 
Know who brings you joy.
Everything has its place.

Crystal Good is a writer-poet and media entrepreneur building Black By God The West Virginian, a news portal that centers Black voices in West Virginia. Visit: BlackByGod.org | TWITTER: @cgoodwoman. “Appalachian Marie Kondo” was initially published Dec. 31, 2020, by Zócalo Public Square.

What’s Up in the June 2022 Issue of West VirginiaVille
FREE SUBSCRIBE TO THIS MAGAZINE: WestVirginiaVille.substack.com

EDITORS/NOTE/June2022: The Persistence of Meaning: I used to think once you got the words right they could change the world. I don’t believe that nearly as much as I used to. Yet, still, we persist in the face of oligarchs, wannabe autocrats and media lapdogs who want to tan men’s testicles.

‘HERO OF THE OPEN HEART’: A WV native’s global humanitarian life showcased in documentary: When “The Wake Up Call” make its West Virginia debut June 23, 2022 in the state’s capital city, the documentary will train a spotlight on a remarkable global humanitarian life which ranged far beyond the Appalachian hills where Dave Evans was born.

UKRAINE: How the Russian army helped to nationalize my country: A Ukrainian exchange student who studied in Charleston WV, reflects upon the devastation he finds all around him and his family in Mariupol after the Russian invasion of his homeland

VIDEO: A first-hand story about an elephant’s birth in West Virginia: They dreamed of an elephant for the parade capping off All Together Arts Week in southern West Virginia. But where do you get an elephant? A group of artists and elephant enablers decided they must do what they had to do: manifest one.

ONE/SONG: “It Ain’t More Damn Guns” by Chris Haddox: Chris Haddox’s Muses (they seem pretty pissed off and maybe you know the feeling) quick-produced the song “It Ain’t More Damn Guns,” reacting to the latest American gun catastrophe in Uvalde, Texas.

POETICS: “Appalachian Marie Kondo” by Crystal Good: I live in the disorder of a missing mother. / I sit in the middle of my mess. / I hear my mother’s voice: / You don’t need this. / This doesn’t fit. / When was the last time you used this? …

PICTURE/SHOW: A Taste for Solitude & Forests: Have I cared enough about the water? Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom? Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild’s fondness?’

EVENT: Native Russian classical guitarist strums up a benefit for Ukraine: A Russian classical guitarist and newly christened American citizen living in West Virginia hosts a June 1 musical benefit for Ukraine, as he works passionately to counter an invasion he abhors.

NOTE TO READERS: Since its founding in May 2020, WestVirginiaVille.com (a project of AmpMediaProject.com), has been a free online magazine of lively, opinionated & alternative writing and imagery about West Virginia. Help us stay in the business of offering ad-free, worthy content. CLICK HERE OR THE ‘Donate’ BUTTON TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE.


RE/PRINT: ‘Almost Heaven ’Til We Get There’: Black Miners and Blair Mountain: September 10, 2021: “I’m a sixth-generation West Virginian. My children are seventh-generation. My generational claim to Appalachia is subversive. It talks back to cavalier anti-Black stories of poor white redneck hillbillies and to the white people who claim an entire region as their own.”

RE/PRINT: Consuming Blackness in ‘progressive’ West Virginia: May 5, 2021: “White women were laughing and grabbing for bites of sushi off a human body. That imagery doesn’t fade. Instead, it continues to enrage me. It stands as both a metaphor and real evidence of oppression and silence.”

SOCIAL/MEDIA: ‘Wait. Doug Reynolds said what about what on Twitter?!?’: March 4, 2021: The word ‘gobsmacked’ should be used sparingly. It derives from the Irish/Scottish word for mouth — ‘gob’ — so might be transliterated as ‘smacked in the mouth.’ But in slang usage it means to be flabbergasted, astounded or made speechless. I am sure I wasn’t the only West Virginian gobsmacked by a tweet posted by HD Media headman, Doug Reynolds, in response to a tweet by Crystal Good.

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