on the dangers of refined reading Ilona Grieland Poetry

local_library on the dangers of refined reading

by Ilona Grieland

Published in Issue No. 224 ~ January, 2016

I have cleaned the bathroom!


Do you want to know how and why I cleaned the bathroom – other than

the fact that it was beginning to look like the lone outhouse at a logging camp?


I say “beginning to look”…

we’re talking weeks here

[days would be ingenuous and months is to shameful to admit] for weeks, then every morning I would open that door and tell myself I must do something about this

toilet – because it is the toilet I’m speaking of.


I have to concentrate and pretend I am a grown-up to say the word toilet

because I am an american with BFD. [bodily function disability] No self-respecting

Brit would say bathroom for toilet. They think we’re all retarded – and they do have a point… although it was the influence of their Queen Victoria who got us all saying white meat instead of

breast and dark meat instead of thigh, so maybe they should soft-pedal their condescension…eh?


But back to the toilet –

or as the French call it, the WC.

[Pardon, but explaining just how the French for toilet became the abbreviation of the English water closet would lead me hopelessly astray.]

Toilet. Yes, the toilet.

I have finally cleaned it – walls, floor, everything – and this is how it came about:

I was reading Sister Lisset’s Tea Loaf recipe in the Shaker Cookbook and, well, three pages of

of footnotes on Shaker life in Upper New York State left me with this urge to violently beat and shake out rugs, scrub casseroles and skillets and just generally find peace

and godliness and all that marvellous stuff snuffed out with the demise of those genuinely christian communes – they shared everything and lived together – non-kosher kibbutzim.


Unfortunately they had sour views on human reproduction

[and there are only so many converts a body can convert]

so they died off leaving us nothing but their spindly but brilliantly-crafted dining room furniture.


They sure did know about how to keep a cow barn sanitary though, and how to make bread rise and how everything should be just so [especially clean] and thanks to the influence of their emminently holy outlook, I am no longer ashamed

of the john.