blue door and a poem

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Friday, January 04, 2008
cool blue door

I love this poem! It's another from the The McSweeney's Book of Poets Picking Poets, which, as I've said before, is a really great collection. The blue door picture doesn't have anything to do with anything except I thought it looked cool.

Lynn Emanuel

you hover above the page staring down
on a small town. Outside a window
some scenery loafs in a sleepy hammock
of pastoral prose and here is a mongrel
loping and here is a train approaching
the station in three long sentences and
here are the people in galoshes waiting.
But you know this story about the galoshes
is really About Your Life, so, like a diver
climbing over the side of a boat and down
into the ocean, you climb, sentence
by sentence, into the story on this page.

You have been expecting yourself
as a woman who purrs in a dress
by Patou, and a porter manacled to
the luggage, and a man stalking across
the page like a black cloud in a bad mood.
These are your fellow travelers and
you are a face behind or inside these
faces, a heartbeat in the volley of these
heartbeats, as you choose, out of all
the journeys, the journey of a man
with a mustache scented faintly with
Prince Albert. "He must be a secret
sensualist," you think and your awareness
drifts to his trench coat, worn, softened,
and flabby, a coat with a lobotomy, just
as the train pulls into the station.

No, you would prefer another stop
in a later chapter where the climate is
affable and sleek. But the passengers
are disembarking, and you did not
choose to be in the story of the woman
in the white dress which is as cool and
evil as a glass of radioactive milk. You
did not choose to be in the story of the
matron whose bosom is like the prow
of a ship and who is launched toward
lunch at the Hotel Pierre, or even the
story of the dog-on-a-leash, even though
this is now your story: the story of the
the-dark-road described hurriedly by
someone sitting in a tavern so you could
discover it, although you knew all along
the road would be there, you, who have
been hovering above this page, holding
the book in your hands, like God, reading.
4 comments on "blue door and a poem"
  1. What a great poem! Radioactive milk? Suddenly lactose intolerance doesn't sound so bad!

  2. There is a certain scifi quality to the poem. I see the you image, hugely hovering, as if in a surreal painting. Do like the images she uses--the radioactive milk, yes, (by implication, the woman requires a double take) but also that lobotomized coat... Makes you think--what sort of person wears a coat like that?

  3. thorny M -- ha ha! you're right. lactose intolerance is no big thing next to radioactive milk. Although maybe the radioactivity is what's causing the problem. chicken/egg OR egg/chicken??

    patty -- I LOVE the coat with a lobotomy. She does tell us who wears it -- he's "a secret sensualist" with prince albert scented mustache. But yeah -- what's up with the coat, mustache man?

    I do love that little tinge of sci-fi/ fantasy. I think it's just lovely. (I also like the man "stalking across the page like a black cloud in a bad mood," because I often feel that way myself.)

  4. A coat with a lobotomy...I love it. It is so clear. Strange how clear it is.


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