The Woodstock Poems: H. Houst & Son

As a Wasp, I share traits of the tribe, such as an inability to tell jokes. Here’s the one I remember: How many Wasps to screw in a light bulb? Two: one to mix the martinis; one to call the electrician. I’m the caller. In truth, I dial my landlady, who has had to go so far as to teach me how to pull the cord for the overhead kitchen light more gently so that it works. So I find entering Houst to be like entering a Gothic cathedral, a place full of meaning to others, but a mystery to me. Yet I love it. For a time, after a therapy session followed by a cafe latte at Bread Alone, I’d walk into Houst inspired by my therapist’s stories of Carl Jung, who liked to sneak off to indulge in child-like play. I’d treat myself to helium balloons, hackey sacks, or a hickory walking stick, a toy of sorts to take home to my all too serious life. I never failed to be surprised by what I might find on the shelves.

Therapy Playground
–H. Houst & Son

Heaven &
Hell in the same aisle as the helium balloons you buy to knock some sense into the sky.
Oil for the paraffin lamp so you can write poems by the light Emily wrote by.
Umber for the moods too much like March you begin to miss by July.
Suppose you weren’t born with the genes for splicing wires or hanging chandeliers.
There’s still hope at the hardware. The same two clowns who manage this place, the General
& the Saboteur, also happen to manage your psyche. One never fails. The other always has fun.
So buy the dog bone shaped like an Olmec god. The squirrel-proof bird feeder that squirrels prefer.
Order the ¼” screwlatchboltswitch that only costs 39¢ whatever the hell it’s for.
Nobody votes against hardware. Rumor says there’s a light bulb in back that burns forever.

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