Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Foyer: A Poem

The recent past-- the very concept of the recent past-- is a subject that fascinates me. I tried to write about it on this blog before, in this flight of fantasy which may have left some readers bemused. But I think I've made a better go of it in this poem.

Readers might notice some similarities between this poem and one that I recently posted. I could write poems about bookish men sitting alone in dark rooms forever. It might be a new genre!

The Foyer

Spring-cleaning, he found stacks of magazines
Untouched for years. Film Monthly, Empire, Vids,
The Haunted Screen. He'd bought these, every one.
He sat down on the bed. The summer sun
Made the drawn curtains glow. The cries of kids
Half-way between their push-chairs and their teens

In the avenue outside seemed far away.
Ten years? Was it ten years since Vacancy
Had been released? It seemed...he didn't know...
Neither a long nor little time ago.
It was too near, or far away, to see
In right perspective. There was yesterday

And then there was the past, but in between--
There lay that no-man's-land, that was not dead
Nor yet alive. My goodness, Rush Hour Three!
He'd seen that with Lorraine. Now where was she?
Not long before, she'd sat here on this bed--
But now how many years unmet, unseen?

The jokes about George Bush and Gordon Brown
Seemed weaker now. The jury was still out
On them, he guessed. Good grief, Facebook was new...
Well, it was still new-- sort of. Was that you,
He asked himself, who went to see Whiteout?
Or else the you of seasons past? The sound

Of cheering came from children not yet born
When he'd seen Avatar. Nostalgia's glow
Would not light up these days for quite a while--
Not yet the gleeful laugh, the knowing smile,
Nor the warm fuzzies. Still a while to go,
Before the heroes of the day faced scorn

Or rediscovery. He turned the page
Again, and still again. He liked it here--
This isle of silence in a sea of sound,
This eye in the hurricane that he had found,
Between the storms of now and yesteryear;
This sleepy foyer between age and age.

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