During my MFA program, I played around with different ways to tell my story. One of those ways was prose poetry. I wrote a series of prose poems, called "Box Studies" and dug them up to see if I could reintegrate these somehow into my current project.
Box Study I
This is the story that I was born to tell. The story that sits with its feet pressed against the back of my throat. This is a story about a box. I know that you will think this story is about me. But it isn’t. It really is about the box. About boxes, generally speaking. About cardboard boxes, specifically speaking. Wikipedia explains that cardboard boxes are “industrially prefabricated boxes, primarily used for packaging goods and materials. Specialists in [the] industry seldom use the term cardboard because it does not denote a specific material. The term cardboard may refer to a variety of heavy paper-like materials, including cardstock, corrugated fiberboard or paperboard. The meaning of the term may depend on the locale, contents, construction, and personal choice.”
This story begins with a particular box. A Panasonic fan box. Only there is no fan in the box. Before I mention the contents of the box, allow me to place the box in a setting. It is on a doorstep in San Diego. The middle of the night. November 25, 1987. And I digress for a moment from this particular box story to remind others, as well as myself, that this is only one story in the context of recurring box stories. For example, the balikbayan box: “The balikbayan box (literally return to one’s homeland box) started with the law enacted by former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980’s during the resurgence of Filipinos working overseas. The Philippine Bureau of Customs Circular allowed the entry of personal goods to the Philippines from Filipinos overseas, tax-free. This was done by asking friends and co-workers who were coming home to bring gifts with them. These boxes might contain nearly anything that can fit and that the sender thinks the recipient would like, regardless of whether those items can be bought cheaply in the Philippines, such as non-perishable food, toiletries, household items, electronics, toys, designer clothing, or items hard to find in the Philippines.” I know that you will think this story is about me. And I confess, it might be. But it is also about the Panasonic fan box. You see, this box and I have history.
duct tape never works
the stories will always keep
bursting from your box