When asked to write a poem on the miniature, I look around my bedroom for inspiration. How about a miniature on my mini-fridge? No. My bed? It’s not small enough. The paper clip on my desk? Too small. I venture into the bathroom. The hamper is interesting, but it doesn’t inspire a poem—though I do make a mental note to go to the laundromat. Just as I’m about to leave the room, I turn and notice the porcelain bowl of my toilet.
Immediately I’m reminded of a poem that I love by Wallace Stevens called The Man On The Dump. I look up the poem—it has been years since I’ve seen it—and start reading. It doesn’t seem like a miniature because of all the images, though when you look at it as a whole it arguably could be a poem on the miniature; the miniature subject being the dump, though dumps are normally kind of big. Anyway, the poem suggests that there is a way to experience the things you’ve already experienced a hundred times as if it was the first—to discard them into the dump, or forget them.
Sitting in my computer chair, I close my eyes and imagine tossing all my belongings in Stevens’ proverbial dump. My mini-fridge, bed, assorted paper clips, hamper, and even my toilet are now in the heap. I recall the last line of the poem: “Where was it one first heard of the truth? The the.”
I open my eyes. Where am I?