by Joan McNerney

Recipe for Chaos:

begin with winter weather (snowbanks everywhere)
add the never-ending quarantine (must use brand name Corona virus)
beat thoroughly a naturally lazy person (who could that be?)
heat to a simmer over a small apartment (a large closet)

How to Create Chaos:

Whenever I turn around my place
becomes an enemy zone.
The sink clangs with pans as
crumbs line up battle ready
while slimy cucumbers groan.

Drum rolls of toilet paper
terrorize bathroom cabinets.
Masses of unwashed clothing
huddle in the bedroom retreating
past stained, sticky floors.

Camouflaged by dishes…documents…
dental floss…my couch collapses.
Outraged pages of books unbind
themselves in wars of words.

Everything spins ever faster
e x p a n d i n g         increasing
shredding      disintegrating.
Wish I could move into a picture perfect
House & Garden duplex forever
and leave this mess immediately.

PAINTING: Ashes by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The above recipe is for Chaos, a perennial problem in the Northeast, where the expression “spring cleaning” originates.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan McNerney’s poetry is found in many literary magazines, such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days, as well as in four Bright Hills Press anthologies, several editions of the Poppy Road Review, and numerous Spectrum Publications. She has four Best of the Net nominations. Her latest title, The Muse In Miniature, is available on and