Saturday, April 09, 2005

I'm feeling a little meh about this one.

The Museum of Fire

The Fire Warden is in charge of you,
where you go, what you see, who
gets saved. All exits are heavily guarded,
and the heavy guards can make you cry
by twisting your hair or beating your dolly.
They have that right.

Down this hall we find the room of escapes,
including stages which burst into flames
seconds later, velvet curtains strange as wings
which slowed a fall, and glass that shattered
with the tap of a breath to let a child out and up
into the fireman’s arms.

This is a display of plan B, the window method,
after the door to the only way out steams
and glows at you. See how she hangs from
the sill by her fingertips. Notice the wind,
how it has made a fan of her skirt and the one
black slipper, fallen.

You can almost hear it, the sparrows across
the street, the low dark hum of the flames.

Come closer. See how her fingers seize and grasp
but her shoulders are almost there, loose with
resolution. She senses there might be broken
glass below and one ankle is weak (there is a cost
to fleeing) but

this is how a woman escapes,
just lets go.


Gabriel said...

I think you may be right on the Meh-ness. The idea has legs on it, but something wasn't clicking for me.

I came away with the sense that I wasn't participating in the poem asmuch as being presented with a description. There were a few spots that seemed like author intrusion and the conclusion has a healthy dose of Portentous Hush going on.

L3 in the third strophe, why break after "from" instead of "hangs"?

I should really comment on more current things, but I only just found this site.

Thanks for the read, the poem has a strong spark driving it.

Christine said...

Spark, hah! I'm assuming you are Gabriel G. You're right, I can't justify that line break. I think there are few things I can do to tighten this up, but I want it to sit a while, then I'll get back to it once it's fermented.

Gabriel said...

Different Gabriel entirely I'm afraid.
Poem site + Which Poet Are You link + curious clicking = me poking around here.

I'll keep an eye out for the poem, I'd like to see what you do with it.