The Poetry Project

Q&A With My Ghost

Welming Chen

G: You’re looking a little better these days.

I: Just a little?

G: —They’re worried about you.

I: Hmm.

G : Yeah, really worried.

I: Actually, I’m worried about THEM.

G : Oh?

I: —

G : You don’t pray anymore.

I: —

G : You go to church almost every morning now. Funny, you didn’t used to
go to church, but you used to pray every day, but now you go to
church but don’t pray...

I: —

G : Why’s that?

I: Can you stop following me there? I mean, I don’t mind if you’re
around when I’m grocery shopping or picking out a new vacuum, but
when I’m in that church I just want to think about my body.

G: —

I: So that was you there in the vestry making a racket?

G: —

I: What were you doing there?

G: Just a bit of sweeping.

I: Sweeping.

G: —

I: So where do they keep them?

G: What?

I: The souls, where do they keep them?

G: Well they were just around the corner.

I: Where?

G: In the next aisle but you weren’t looking, you were busy looking at the

I: You mean in the shop?

G: Yeah, they were a great deal too.

I: I was looking at vacuums.

G: Well you always have to look.

I: Anyway, you give much better advice on which vacuum to buy.

G: So what about work?

I: —

G: I thought you loved it.

I: I did. But I know better now.

G : What do you mean?

I: You know, there is no point. I won’t be here. In the long run. I mean.

G : Oh.

I: I know, it’s all be said before.

G : Yup.

I: Well, you haven’t told me yet, which vacuum should I get?

G : Ultimately, it’s your choice.

I: Of course, but which one?

G : I like the blue one.

I: Me too! The one with the cyclone motor!

G : The term is cyclonic. It’s the way the dirt is separated from the air, it
creates a vortex and the dust spins out by centrifugal force to the
outer edge inside the collection bin.

I: Oh. — Is that what’ll happen to me?

G : [Takes a deep breath] Dunno. Maybe.

I: So, they’re wondering about me...

G : I said ‘worried’.

I: What should I do?

G : Your choice.

I: You never give a straight answer. Except for vacuums.

G : —

I: Hey, you wanna come on a trip with me?

G : You forgot. I don’t travel.

Work from Boo: Ghosts and the Unconscious for Utopian Dreaming with Claire Donato & Adrian Shirk