NaPoWriMo 2021 – #10. Junk Drawer Blues

here’s our daily prompt (optional, of course!). It’s called “Junk Drawer Song,” and comes to us from the poet Hoa Nguyen.

  • First, find a song with which you are familiar – it could be a favorite song of yours, or one that just evokes memories of your past. Listen to the song and take notes as you do, without overthinking it or worrying about your notes making sense.
  • Next, rifle through the objects in your junk drawer – or wherever you keep loose odds and ends that don’t have a place otherwise. (Mine contains picture-hanging wire, stamps, rubber bands, and two unfinished wooden spoons I started whittling four years ago after taking a spoon-making class). On a separate page from your song-notes page, write about the objects in the drawer, for as long as you care to.
  • Now, bring your two pages of notes together and write a poem that weaves together your ideas and observations from both pages.

Junk Drawer Blues

My life was contained by boxes of junk.
Then you came and gave my life arrangement.
Now I have a single box for items
that rejected your organizing skills:
Embroidered patches from submarines,
Track medals, rusted dog tags, lapel pins,
Green and orange honor cords, medals from work,
A key to the door of the embassy
I built. Old rusted belt buckles, name tags,
Cash money from countries I visited
In Africa, the Levant and the Gulf.
“We’re in the middle of the making,” words
From my favorite song, Master Blaster. “Still
jamming, jamming until the break of dawn.”

2 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2021 – #10. Junk Drawer Blues

  1. I have submarine memorabilia in my drawers. Not so much patches as ribbons, medals, dolphins and the like. An SSN666 belt buckle I had made in the PI.
    Great song choice, too.


    1. Yep, somehow that stuff manages to hang around. And yes, my junk box also includes ribbons, dolphins (regulation and miniature) and even a SWO (me too!) pin. A lot of the coinage is too worn to figure out its source without a magnifying glass. There is enough for another poem is needed. Thanks for checking in!

      Liked by 1 person

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