Conrad Geller

Household Tympani

The dishwasher, all sudden whirs and clicks
when the arm is spinning or it stops to change
direction, thrives on chaos; too much order
permits the intimate nesting of the spoons.
Its workings are obscure, it claims to clean
with neither brush nor pad. I never trust
a whispering dishwasher, and that is why
I rinse each dish before I put it in.

The tub-tub of the washing machine, by contrast,
that mimics the beating of a human heart,
enlivens me to poetry, strict forms,
and lets me scrub the haberdashery
of thought precisely, noun by verb,
stow words in order as they ought to be,
to hide my primal curse of nakedness.


Conrad Geller, a Bostonian by birth and inclination, grew up in the now-obliterated neighborhood of the West End. His poetry has won awards from both the Virginia and Massachusetts poetry societies, the Greenburgh Arts Festival, and Loudoun County (Virginia). More than a hundred of his poems have appeared in print, mainly in obscure or discontinued publications, and in electronic media. He now lives in troubled retirement in Northern Virginia.

4 thoughts on “Conrad Geller”

  1. I am both warmed and amused by “Household Tympani.” The sound-image of the washing machine is precise and clever, as is its application to the human condition, or, rather, to the poet’s condition. Thanks, Mr. Geller. — Don Williams, Canyon, Texas


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