poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Tag: imagination

Duck and Cover!

Duck and cover!
Head down! Hands behind head!
Knees on floor!

You are Hieronymus Bosch! Imagine flame! Smoke!

As if they were saying,
‘You are now a fish or a block of wood.’
‘We’ve got you where we want you.’

Did no parents, even once, wonder?
Or had the anesthesia already
kicked in.

Remain motionless!

Photos found online of school building and schoolchildren participating in ‘Duck and Cover’ exercises. I do not claim ownership of these images. I have used them to create new works for non-commercial purposes of parody, education, and commentary.

A Bolt of Black Cloth

9

I imagined a colour the density of funeral bunting,

new 10

A bolt of black cloth,

a singed songflaring

A sudden black waterfall quickly dropping six stories,

dales 17 new

Unrolled from a balcony,

dense nights

The beginning of a voyage,

fire lotq

Negotiating darkness.

flaring

My father shopped at Dales for paper bags full of groceries,

parkinglot

I waited in the car listening to the radio,

people who knowwaiting in the car 1

I tried to describe a song called Eve of Destruction,

q

He looked at me in the rear-view mirror,

r

Columns of black smoke rose above the Pacific Ocean,

spark 2a ring

Like poisonous vines,

the projector shining

Morse code blinking through the darkness,

waiting in the car 1

At night he came home as late as possible,

xxp

Then looking again into the rear-view mirror,

new 10

He repeated the name of the song,

‘Eve of Destruction.’

dales 17 new

I pictured a wooden bowl in my chest,

parkinglotthe projector shining

Smoothed and worn by water,

p

& Climbing the stairs into this language,

a ring

Gazed, longingly, into a rear-view mirror.

new 10dales 17 newxxr

Laundromat: July 10, 9:47 AM

laundromat 1

laundromat final

I’m in the

laundromat

because my dryer broke

and this radio is too loud

and every song sounds insincere –

finally Annie Lennox and

the Eurythmics are singing

Talk to Me.

laundromat 2

laundromat 8

I wonder when I’ll ever

get around to reading

Ulysses.

laundromat z

The radiator is painted

an almost indescribable

shade of turquoise.

Lively but dead serious –

mechanical.

laundromat 26

The top of each rib protrudes

thin, flat and sharp.

I can imagine these edges

pressing into my face

after they arrest me in the

grand sweep.

laundromat rinse

laundromat horizon

Harnesses and 19th century

contraptions hoisting the radiator

above prisoners strapped to beds.

Thirty full seconds for each

inmate.

What if they decide to heat them?

laundromat y

Loud sirens nearby.

A city wind blowing

through the open door.

laundromat new alchemy

A guy reading a

book asks me

if I smell

cigarette smoke.

laundromat 8

“No.”

laundromat final Read the rest of this entry »

The World Screened by John Oughton

4

The world through your window

is screened into rows of tiny cubes 

new 61

that means we can remake

the world by shifting them

11

a pure pane of sky shines

from the pine’s arthritic roots

new c

the library is strewn along the walk

which itself winds over

2

branches, bedrooms. Shadows of things start

elsewhere and cross where they might be cloud

new w

the pedestrian’s two left eyes

regard the sun strolling on her leash

15

as they move cube by cube over the clear blue lawn

her heart is (not is like) a bird

xzx

The World Screened was previously published in Time Slip (Guernica Editions, 2010). John Oughton is a Toronto poet with five books published, and a professor at Centennial College.

rrrrrI wanted to capture the sense of real/unreal within this poem’s surrealism. The piano motif relates to background music, or a composition, in which the poem seems to move… I juxtaposed pictorial elements playing off the poem’s (in part) bright, Miro-like mood as well as the more subtly expressed romantic, melancholy yearnings.