Saturday, 30 April 2011

day/poem 30

(so, actually i got home in plenty of time, so here goes - last poem.  it's definitely been an experience.  i'm glad i did it, but not sorry it's over - some days it's been really horrible, posting stuff that i'd rather toss, but overall, at least it's got me writing. not sure i'll be doing it next year though...)

-- the end --

this is the end
the announcement comes over every loudspeaker
echoes out of each carefully hung tannoy
no urgency voiced but the implacability of the statement
brokers no argument
house lights go up, smooth, just as the curtain came down
red folds drape a velvet silence over what has just come to pass
as though it's not yet quite blatant enough
an usher approaches, pale hand stopping just short of meeting her
elbow as he pronounces again the end of the show
he is not unkind, but offers no apology
beneath the regulation gold braided cap, eyes waver for a second
momentarily bewildered at the final turn of events
switch back swift back to unflappable detachment
the rogue emotion a pirate flicker of comprehension
in the stonewall white noise of his professionalism

shuffling out into the light of a day she'd forgotten existed
she misses her jacket, sees it spread on the seat neighbouring her own
keeping its plush bulk warm as the hall sweated
from heated opening credits to infernal denoument
she cannot remember the film itself, only flashes of faces
cannot recall whether in pleasure or fear
cannot muster the energy to wonder at

she turns back to retrieve forgotten garment
meets barred doors, padlocked from without
whitewashed windows bearing no legend but 'closing down'
wiped clean across each entrance, entertaining no doubts
she blinks perplexity, eyelids rumble closed in perfect slow motion
vision clouds to black to mist and back, split second blindness
and second sight brings impossibility so sudden it is easier to dismiss
than believe - where film house stood now only derelict awning over
gaping maw where once through doors cinephiles poured
a crumbling stoop, and splinter framed emptiness

she counts the seconds she knows will lead to waking
nightmares, she snorts, become so banal
the stillness settles, waits in patience for her numbers to run out
she counts
dust collects around her stubborn lips, as the sun descends and horizon winks out
she counts
earth tremors, cries out, its death pains trivialising those of birth
she counts
the cold becomes all there is
stars stopped dying, all black holes filled
and silence no longer holds its breath
she counts until she doesn't
and every number ends
final beat skipped
and then

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