Monday, June 8, 2015

Black/White&Grainy as a photograph, a love poem


photo by sigfrid lundberg


A car rounds the corner, heels hot
from an unseen pursuer or hopped up,
hallucinating 2 AM stickfigures

& stretches the man flat across asphalt,
side walk, up the hard metal fire escape,
night cold brick --- black as pitch,

but the headlights & his eyes, you'd expect
to be wide, with flashes of life soon passed,
aren't --- He is sure, as Euler-Lagrange equations,

as the distance shrapnel flies from an incident
can be used to determine the force, as a couch
dropped from a third story window will

implode. A window,
swollen shut with summer
humidity, that never leaves,
opens,
          in his chest

& there are no gunshots,
no howling mother, to BE QUIET!
lest you wake the chillen',
fresh off the nipple

In the window of his chest,
an interior light snaps to,
like Let there be,
bright, blinding
                    & fresh,
and a shadow,
                     tentative at first,
                     pokes a head out,
then leaps,
            quick & spread
            as a leaf in fall,
                                      does ---

dropping like stars,
seldom seen in the city
             except those made by man,

             but even when they fall,
                         we all
                                    make a wish.


43 comments:

  1. under biggest pressure something within him opens that gives him the power to escape himself - that he maybe was looking for all his life - and didn't find the key to.. sometimes i wonder that those chest windows stay shut so long in so many lives and sometimes until it's too late...

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  2. Life in a city can be choking especially when every one is living in his own world and don't bother about others.

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  3. Maybe only those who are deepest in the darkness can really find their way back to the few lights that exist... The image of a window in the chest is one that works well for finding those stars we all need when we are in the blackness of bottoms,

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  4. I love '& stretches the man flat across asphalt' - what a great way of describing the elongation of one's shadow as the light/or man moves! I could visualise him running, trying to escape. Wonder if the window opening in his chest could be the adrenalin rushing to his aid?

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  5. Interesting capture, I like the image of a window in the chest!

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  6. & there are no gunshots,
    no howling mother, to BE QUIET!
    lest you wake the chillen',
    fresh off the nipple

    At the back of our minds we will always think of the children. Our subsequent actions are guided by such considerations. True enough X!

    Hank

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  7. Well, I am not sure I am visualizing what you intended; but I see a late night car wreck & a death...and then absolute silence..and then, I think, he has reached the other side & arising from the shadow he experiences the brightness ('bright, blinding, and fresh') that we often hear about happening at the moment of passing.

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  8. I too see a car accident and a man dying on the spot, far from the media, alone and not surrounded by a family that will then mourn him. His death is violent nonetheless what comes later is not the end.

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    1. You both are right there and blended with Claudia as well, just about have the whole picture. Glad it was not "Too obscure." Ha.

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    2. It's a metaphor for the way it feels to fall in love---like being hit by a car. Not just that---it's more like he's being chased down by a driver who wants to run him over and crumble his body and heart into an infinity of pieces, with a predator's intent. She's destroying him, in the most pleasant way.

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    3. Love is by far, the best way of dying.

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    4. I love the comma in your title. It makes me think you're equating a B&W photo to a love poem---the photo itself being a poem. As a lover of photography, I have an immense appreciation for this depiction. And of course, you hid some rain in there too, which adds a beautiful texture to the scene.

      The line break after "heels hot" tells us immediately that this is about a woman (as if your title wasn't clear enough).

      I love the way you say that she knocked him on his ass: "& stretches the man flat across asphalt"

      "the headlights & his eyes, you'd expect" This is a description of him checking out her breasts. And also, since you're name is "[e]x," I think there may be a sweet little kiss (peck) in there as well.

      This is absolutely my favorite part: "He is sure, as Euler-Lagrange equations" ... I think you're saying he's running (figuratively) like a maniac as far away from her as he can get, up the fire escape even. (The higher he climbs, the faster he'll fall.) But then he gives in and just jumps off, embracing his own "death" through passionate, artistic expression. Talk about blood-spatter analysis. Dexter would love to get his hands on this.

      The wishing-on-stars part at the end is also really strong.

      Oh, and if you read the caps from the bottom up and add them to the title, you'll come up with something like, "I'm a black and white photograph and a love poem," which is really cool.

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    5. Astounding.

      Seriously, you blow my mind some times.

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  9. I admire how everything moves in slow motion in the end though in reality the event happened in an instant - I find the imagery of the window opening in his chest, light and shadow leaping and falling as a leaf, deeper than what it seems ~

    Is death near or not, I will have to ponder some more, smiles ~

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  10. I like the pace and the perspective in this piece.

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  11. dropping like stars,
    seldom seen in the city
    except those made by man,

    but even when they fall,
    we all
    make a wish.

    That ending is genius and this reads like a psychological thriller I was so engrossed, on the edge of my seat, brilliant

    mindlovemisery

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  12. Far from obscure, the piece is fascinating, like a film noir or some crime scene B&W images. I did not read death, though felt the threat of it; I visualized intense loneliness & alienation in the black urban maze, & a moment the man had an epiphany, opening up to the emotions he feared. Like a half dozen others I loved the inspired lines /a window/swollen shut with summer/humidity,/that never leaves,/opens,/in his chest/.

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    1. Thanks G. That was the effect I was going for witht he film noir or old B&W pics.

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  13. this man grabbing death's hand has nothing else to hold on to... I sense an emptiness lingering in this piece. An escape, a wish came true.

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  14. Interesting take on the black / white prompt. Peace, Linda

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  15. I am caught by the 'window in his chest.' So much I loved....

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  16. Fantastic piece. Love the "window of his chest" and the "Let there be light" reference, especially.

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  17. I really like the rhythm. It makes the shock more real.

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  18. Replies
    1. Yeah? What did you find intriguing?

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  19. It grabbed me...and confused me so i read it again. A fatal pedestrian accident; shocking yet somehow seems to be a liberation of the soul... through the window in his chest...that image is intriguing to me!

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  20. Such an atmospheric poem, X. You used darkness to create darkness and yet there is a light there, too. Reminiscent of the perception (for me) of a desperate city life. You vivid descriptions create that mood. And the title is so good.

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  21. bravo! I especially like the ending

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  22. the first thing that came to mind for me was a police chase I saw last week on the interstate. This guy was speeding weaving in and out of lanes and then the troopers went after him and the rest of us are watching and trying to stay out of the way. He finally made the guy pull over..crazy commute home..

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  23. I do like those last six lines....a meteorite burns brightest just before it becomes dark and we make wishes on those dying rocks...those dying stars. Maybe we all wish for our lights to continue to burn, maybe we wish to not die alone, maybe we wish for someone to be healed - we look at those dying stars through those windows in our chests....we watch their light fade and we wish...most intriguing write her. It is excellent to read it aloud. Hayes Spencer is Kanzensakura

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  24. hey--this is a rather chilling poem--many beautiful lines and images--the swollen shut window in his chest, the wish for light--a very sad poem, I thought--this feeling of despair in someone and we pass by thinking, there, but for the grace of God--quite wonderful. I'm sure you read it very well. Hope the grad school winding down. k.

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    1. Thanks for pointing out the reading it. All of my poems are written from the perspective of how they sound when read. Sound is a very important element to me, and will often dictate the use of certain poetic tools.

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  25. 'night cold brick --- black as pitch,-..'-the attention to detail here is like the kind of scrimshaw carving you sometimes see on very old pieces--so small and intricate that you wonder who ever had the patience to carve it. Then you remember the months-long voyages across the unknown ocean, filled with equal parts tedium, back-breaking work and deadly danger--sort of like the whale-hunt of love, the personal quest that bursts the chest open and sends one jumping out the seventh story window of prudence and status quo...anyway--an excellent, fully evolved poem. My pleasure, as always, to read. Sorry to be so gone--had a bit of involuntary downtime.

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    1. Trust me, I know the value of downtime, J. Solid analysis - adding to the poem.

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  26. The beginning is quite intense, then as magical as I find it towards the end. Like in Grace's poem, yours read as if like a broken sonnet having two parts. The first part expressed the emotional tension built from the first lines down the middle, then ending with a resolution towards the closing lines. I enjoyed it, thank you!

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  27. outstanding ending... really liked this work.

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  28. Very noirish atmosphere, inner city, the car's hot heels did have me confused for a moment (surely you meant wheels, I said to myself), but then I reread the title 'love poem' and I began to see an additional layer of meaning. A real accident, the car crash of falling in love, the car crash of making a mess of our lives and not being true to ourselves, trying to escape. That very arresting image that others have commented on already: the window, swollen shut, which opens finally in his chest...

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  29. Oh.. the star of life as human soul.. is worth as much as the stars of sky..
    and certainly the cold hard asphalt of city lights..
    Oh.. the young men.. with only survival
    in mind.. the heart and soul long
    past.. all is left is grasp
    in cold moon nights..
    and just another
    hit and run..
    where a star might flourish..
    otherwise known
    as the ghetto reality
    of those forgotten
    stars.. to shine again as black
    as white as black as life in Light
    flickering alive once
    again..:)

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  30. My first read was the obvious--a car accident, death and resurrection. After reading the other comments, I came to appreciate the different interpretations your work inspired--all of them valid. Truly, a provocative piece, Monsieur X.

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  31. I really like the shape of the poem...it added to the intensity. The ending gives a glimpse of hope in a tragic situation.

    "but even when they fall,
    we all
    make a wish."
    Beautiful.

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  32. its so interesting a way to tell .....I see death here....and some fascinating whitish views afterwards, if I am right....picturesque!!

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