Friday, February 3, 2017

The Spider Captain


The Spider Captain






An old stuffed dog
and a long legged spider
a bed like a boat
and a web in the corner
a neon nightlight
from the downstairs sign
stiff faded curtains with red designs

to cover the moon;
too many children, not enough rooms.

A place on the couch
that hides a bed
a long legged spider
to cover your head
to rock you to sleep
while the bed-boat sails where
there's a whole new place
you didn't know was there


with 
a purple bracelet and knots in your hair
for Mother to comb out
and make you cry.
On his way to work,
the spider kisses her goodbye.



~February 2017













Looking beyond the obvious
for Fireblossom Friday








Image: The Big Spider's Diamonds,  by Edmond Dulac





16 comments:

  1. Hmmm, I wonder if you are saying what I hope you aren't? (Spiders sometimes being a name given to child molesters.)

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    1. Not familiar with the name, but thanks, Rosemary, for looking a little deeper.

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  2. I really enjoyed this...the descriptive prose leads me into a place I see with a certain set of eyes and sends me out looking with another pair.

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  3. The illustration reminds me, rather nostalgically, of my childhood books of nursery rhymes, and your poem has the flavour of A Child's Garden of Verses.. which makes the inclusion of the spider all the more sinister. Perhaps my arachnophobia makes that the focal point for me.

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  4. I am very intrigued by this spider. Spiders often bring a feeling of unease (if not fear and revulsion to people) but here, I feel like the spider is neither a night terror, nor a bowdlerized nanny. It is the ambiguity to me that is the most unsettling thing.

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    1. Thanks Rommy. Sometimes things are too familiar to be terrifying, even if they should be.

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  5. The spider needs a visit from either the SVU squad or Orkin. The going somewhere else is especially chilling and awful because of what it stems from. This is a terrifying poem, about a time in life which should be free from long-legged monsters come up from the neon, and their tacit accomplices who are, in some ways, even more repulsive.

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  6. the web in the corner gets hid in the rhyme.
    the faded curtains that cover the moon aid in the design - and those too many children with not enough room...

    did you see the film "Room" (not to be confused with "The Room")? This reminds me of that. Chilling. ~

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    1. Haven't seen it but read about it--yeah, humans are the most terrifying monsters ever invented.Thanks, M.

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  7. "Too many children, not enough rooms" hits home. Reminds me of my four leggy children in our tiny cottage back in the day and how there was always food, just not enough of it. Sigh. The finding of a place "you didnt know was there" and the spider kissing the mother goodbye on his way to work. Oh Joy, childhood should not have such spiders.

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  8. Sounds like an old nursery rhyme! Only it's not.

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  9. This web weaves out severally -- There is a simple iteration, the description of a room where all is not what or where it seems: Somewhere the photograph becomes the storybook becomes the profanation: And back of it, or toward the end of it, what is monstrous takes on the seamless look of the familiar. The fin in water is that spider's kiss and it all leaps back, like a dream back from a single detail. Yikes.

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    1. I'm not able to write much these days, but tetrameter is always there, isn't it; polluting the headstream, but sometimes useful I suppose--was trying for a child's voice here, a different way to work the stitches...fin, indeed. Thanks for your understanding, B.

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  10. Thank you for this journey to the darker side of imagination

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  11. There is a sense of creepiness and camouflage weaved all over this poem. But the bit that truly terrifies me (and sort of angers me a little, too) is that second stanza. It reads like an excuse not to see, a justification by someone who understands exactly how wrong things are but pretends s/he can't do anything to make things better. And the tone, such a chilling tone...

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