Monday, October 5, 2009

The Actor


In Scene One,
I shiver
beside a vent
in lollipop
pajamas,
alone in an
antiseptic room.

Strangers call me
Dad and bring
me macaroni;
I paint the walls
with a dribble
and a grin.

They go out again,
shoes on ice,
tundra in the hall;
a cold north wind
blows closed
the sterile,
numbered door.

No one hears
the slam;
I build a fire
and dance
before the flames.

In Scene Two,
when the maid
comes in
to make my bed,
she doesn’t notice
I am dead,
speaks kindly,
stirs the coals.

In Scene Three,
we are wed;
I take up Solitaire,
she lights cigarettes
and leans against
the door, sultry
in her tattered gown.

Our carriage arrives
each day at noon
and leaves again at one;
while we dream inside,
the driver pretends
he’s glad to be alone.

He knows when
not to prattle;
to see the world
we’re denied,
my bride throws
back the sash.

A caravan of fools
with useless limbs
and empty heads.

In my room
a cheerful crash,
as another tree
goes down.

In my room
a soft caress,
before the truth
is found.

In Scene Four,
a knock comes
at the door;
it is evening now,
starlight enters
without a sound.

I stand behind
the curtain,
ready to go on.

From Songs and Letters, originally published December 10, 2005.


Recently Linked: O, begor, ... I can psoakoonaloose myself any time I want. My thanks to Scott Wilson for using the odd little drawing of mine that accompanies the summary of Finnegans Wake on my website to illustrate his erudite blog entry on Joyce’s masterpiece (or one of them, anyway).

Update:
In the Forum: a message from the dead letter office.

7 comments:

Caio Fernandes said...

i thought how much this is a protection or just life ...

William Michaelian said...

Well, Caio, you know how it is — every day, a different personality (or something like that)....

Nazia Mallick said...

Oh William!

This brought shivers up my spine!

I love this poem. I am going to frame it beside my bed.

William Michaelian said...

Nazia, I found this while sorting through some of my longer poems recently. I’m planning a Press Series volume of longer poems and prose poems, and had decided that “The Actor” should be included. Thanks to your wonderful reaction, I know I made the right decision. Thanks for your kind response!

Nazia Mallick said...

You are welcome William.

This one of those poems I want to steal.
Make it my own.

Momo Luna said...

So beautiful. I love it how you manage to place wonderful images in my head thru your words.

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Momo Luna. But I also know, after visiting your blogs, that your head is already full of wonderful images. Lovely work!