Saturday, December 3, 2016

Last Act


Last Act




A pared face, a false peel, a sliver
above silver seamed stars;
who will call the waters
now that we've broken the moon?

In the windowed night,
 love's widow
walks her hushed graveyard,
where the white skirts of memory
 rustle around the turn.

Who can say
what time it is; only that time
never stops.




 ~November 2016


posted for real toads


Note: I cheated here and used the first 55 words of a longer poem, hoping it stands alright alone--anyway, only for those interested, here is the rest of the piece:




 Last Act

...

Who can say
what time it is; only that time
never stops.
 
Answer
the midnight door--perhaps a dead king 
disinters to go dancing,
or the palest child, cold,
is offering in the dark
a chance to finally pay your debt;

hear a script with no speaker,
a performance careless of audience,
a whole cosmos
that gestures and moves
as the void declaims before it,
tapping its teeth in the final soliloquy.

All we are is cut from this paper,
cellophane over the footlights.

Who is that 
singing by starlight
now that the players have gone?

~November 2016











Images: Night, 1905, by Mikalojus Ciurlionis Public domain 
via wikiart.org 
A Graveyard in the Tyrol, 1914, by John Singer Sargent  Public domain 
via wikiart.org
Both images slightly manipulated.





14 comments:

  1. If the apocalypse needed poetic accompaniment, this would be it. Your imagery is always haunting.

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  2. This abridged version works well for me. I really admire how you packed this short poem full of rich imagery (read: windowed night, white skirts of memory), and I a big fan of the word play here "a sliver
    above silver seamed stars." As always thanks for posting and viva la.

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  3. I think your poem (in its two parts) each a poem by themselves works well.. the 55 is a wonderful piece gathering darkness from that pale sickle of a silvered blade. It feels like it can cut through flesh.

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  4. I really love the first part, especially the first stanza. The last line of said stanza left me breathing a bit harder. Who will keep things going, indeed... after we finish unmaking all what is.

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  5. fascinating! The truncated version is like a different poem. It has a lot of energy and mystery, and it reads as if it could have been written for the video clip at the prompt, though obviously not. I didn't really want answers, no matter how speculative.

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  6. I like the episodic feel of the two pieces, separate and together. The 55 holds its own counsel, yet is fully informed by the second; together they yield the atmosphere that makes your final eerie question the natural culmination. ~

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  7. I must agree that the 55 word poem contains a perfect chrysalis of thought, captured in your unique imagery.

    The metaphor of the stage works well in the longer piece, but reads as a separate part to the graveyard motifs of the first.
    Both offer a unique existential vision.

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  8. I think the full version is much stronger. It's full of your trademark imagery and originality, and evokes a mood both uneasy and strangely wistful.

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  9. I'm so glad that you posted the longer piece. Exquisite.

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  10. Oh my GOODNESS, this is beautiful! Love the stand-alone piece, and am glad to have been able to read the longer work as well. Really stunning writing.

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  11. I agree with Isadora and Kerry - the abridged version works well, packed full of rich imagery - but I like both versions equally.
    My favourite lines have to be:
    'who will call the waters
    now that we've broken the moon?'

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  12. Haunting....I think the 55 words have got their own existence ...in full a very unique read...!! Your words can inspire paintings!!

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  13. The 55 is the sliver of the silver IMO -- more apt perhaps for the world the longer poem grieves -- a cold dram where the full icy draught requires something more than a fraught and fleeting attention. This winter hour lends itself to the endlessly empty room we find ourselves in: the freeze of the crypt Hamlet pondered being and not-being as perfectly balanced. But even there, in the full jacket of noir, there's enough light to see the writing on the wall -- bum as that oracle might be -- and there's nothing more resonant than the voice alone. Anyway, Mr. D as a dance partner is a cold slow dance in hell, but this drips with arch richness. Maybe our new EPA secretary will serve up goblets of freezing oil at the banquet.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and what with the frackquakes, they will be shaken, not stirred--the man is a complete ass.almost a caricature, but then we live in a world rapidly becoming only a caricature of itself. Thanks B.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg