Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Invisible Man

 
 

 
 
 
The Invisible Man

 
 
To know you is
to never know you, closed
in your dead moth coat,
last century's hat
and shades, mummy's face
empty when unwrapped as yesterday' cup,
all feeling spilled on ground that sucks it dry.

To know you is
to live life in the dark
to look but never
find, feeling forward,
reaching, slipping, hands
fumbling out to nothing as if I'm blind;
to know you is to know the mirror's lie.




October 2021


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 posted for Poetics
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This poem is written in the duodora form. See above link for description.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Images: Claude Raines as The Invisible Man, 1933    Public Domain
 
 

23 comments:

  1. It is a terrifying thought to think of oneself where if the ratty adornments are removed there's nothing there. Some belief systems feel that one reaches enlightenment at such a realization, but the thought isn't a comforting one for me. Excellent duodora in the Halloween spirit earns you a tasty cache of candy corn :)

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  2. "the mirrors lie"

    What a concept! This sent shivers down my spine!

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  3. Stunning and chilling write. I read it several times to appreciate the depth of deception & lies beneath the mummy's face.

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  4. I thought I knew what was going on here until I got to that final line, and now I'm not so sure. It's marvelously sensual, albeit in its own musty, mothball way. I can almost feel the cobwebs across my face as I move through this. The groping in the dark of the second stanza is vivid and they key phrase, I think, is "as if blind", emphasis on "as if." Perhaps we see what we are willing to see? Some say that mirrors are portals to other realities, but here, the mirror IS the the other--and false--reality. Layered, neat and stinging as whiskey drunk straight, as with the same blurring of perception.

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  5. The imagery of a "dead moth coat" is really interesting. Great last line too.

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  6. Up from the slab, what a blab! You took up the Deeverse challenge and unwrapped the paramour for this spectre of -- what? -- that's the rub: Wishes gussied up in bandages and a top-hot with spectacles darker than midnight. Not much for companions, old love mummified and reanimated by the ghost in the mirror who still believes. The sureness in revealing and reveling in "the nothing that is not there and the nothing that is" is amazing, Octoberal, and a hoot. Three adders' forks and a high-five. Ain't love so sepulchrally grand.

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  7. "Hat" not ""hot" but it could be said to be hell-fumed.

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    1. It could indeed. Yeah mirrors and masks, masks and mirrors--even if the masks are just bandages that wrap no wounds, and the mirrors lie like flatfish. Thanks for your insights and appreciation, B.

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  8. I like this: spookily suitable for this Halloween prompt. Perhaps such people still have something to teach us?

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  9. This is as chilling and deeply revealing as they come. No one does it better. A difficult form, you show us how it's done.

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  10. Reading this multiple times, I walk away with multiple understandings, as if looking in a fun house mirror, all the distortions we see, and yet - which if any are true? It's a bit like looking at yourself in a very old looking glass/mirror - where the glazing is mottled and so here, we find the crux of this poem. It speaks with several points of view, while as Shay noted, it seems to be offering a singular or sole perspective. But it just isn't so.

    I love the word pitch - the descriptions - you had me with "dead moth coat" - and it's exactly the careful wordcrafting and phrases that weave such a very elegant and deeply haunting existential poem. Who do we see and consequently really know? What is reflected back? We are as illustrious in our own illusions, as we feign to understand and believe.

    You've really captured so much more than what seems like a simple poem here, at least, this is my impression of it.

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    1. Thank you, WC. I'm very happy to hear you feel there are layers uexplained here, as that is essentially what the poem is about. What appears in a mirror is just a reflection of an exterior, and in this case, well, see first stanza. Thanks so much for your enthusiastic and intelligent feedback.

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  11. Who are we really? It's always a mystery.

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  12. My goodness this is potent! This bit stood out particularly for me; "mummy's face
    empty when unwrapped as yesterday' cup."

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  13. For me, an essence of something desperate and dark emanates from this - the smell of the 'dead moth coat', layers that reveal nothing when unwrapped, a feeling of emptiness and dessication, forever searching, and never really understanding who we are. A great duodora.

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  14. Reading this felt rather like unwrapping a mummy to find - emptiness. Well and spookily done.

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  15. I don't know you I won't know you but I can see your invisibility

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  16. "To know you is
    to never know you, closed
    in your dead moth coat,
    last century's hat"

    he hides from himself, or how others might see him, and it truly is a blessing and a curse, hidden so well he can't find himself anymore (and i can understand that feeling). it's about fear (everything is always about love or fear, it would seem) i think the key is in those first lines, that's what i see anyway. very well written joy

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  17. this one is smoke to me, just out of reach, the outside of the edge of the mirror. maybe I just don't want to know the lie inside it ~

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"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats