Man at His Best

A Poem by Marc Nair: Spark Joy

How do you KonMari a poem? Singapore writer Marc Nair declutters his piece.

BY MARC NAIR | Jan 23, 2019 | Film & TV


Spark Joy

A body grows over itself

Layer by layer
The house of the heart thick with dust
From half-forgotten days

Fingers of unfinished whisky bottles
Range on a shelf
Keeping score of lonely nights

The air grows still
Something sparks in the distance

Here is an airtight menagerie of things
No rain seeps through the roof of souvenirs
From forgotten countries
Demoted to unlabelled cupboards

Ex-lovers are dust bunnies pushed under the sofa
Where even the vacuum makes a feeble attempt

To suck up loss

Assorted friends

                                   lie on the floor in



Who are the unmatched socks?

A rumble of thunder

The storm batters with all the force
Of a sober new year resolution

Large Ikea bags emerge like sentinels
Emotional vases tip from shelves and shatter

The pile of what has to go, bedraggled and joyless,
Grows by the front door

Thank you

                  and you

                                and you

                                                and you





And you

What’s left is folded, neat as a set of nesting dolls,
Or a haiku

After lightning strikes
you see clearly: what has to go
and what remains 

In the wake of Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix, Tidying Up, thousands of people have started to KonMari their lives, thanking and throwing out everything that does not spark joy for them. This poem imagines itself as a house that needs to be decluttered.

Like what you read? See more poems by Marc Nair on his page


From: Esquire SG