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Monologue in Black and Red


David W. Parsley

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David W. Parsley

Do not stand there
As if you would paste an eye on the face of the moon.

Draw the blind

And let me divide this fixed mirror
From the tranquil face inlaid in the grim glass.
Bas-relief the shadow panels
That shift on the wall. Then watch. Watch.

A spot
On that wall Forms in a smeared face
And runs like a wound – clots, then bleeds again
While I wink at my blind cyclops.
And the cyclops’ face is a grin of quaint agony tonight
As a strong jaw presses against his chin,
Bowing him from behind and bending the dull glass
To fit my purple retina.
I almost laugh.
But tonight the moon is eyeless
And the shadow panels are ready to shift on the wall.
So watch.

Chisel at the firm mouth.
Witness the lips
Curl back from wet fangs
And see the hair-backed hands drop into paws

While I must study through the fixed corner
That shows your face on the blank tile
Edging toward the door
Imagining you see a silhouette Stencilled on the yellow shade.
Forget the clumsiness of hooves
and laugh.

You know I hate new moons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

first published in Prize Poems of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, 1977

winner NFSPS Modern Award

© 2011 David W. Parsley

Parsley Poetry Collection

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A very enjoyable (and impressive) composition, Dave. I can't believe you wrote this back in '77 when I was seven and didn't even know there existed such a thing as a poem. This definitely put me in the mood for halloween. Thanks for sharing it here.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Excellent imagery which embraces the surreal and yet at the same time doesn't quite let go of the tangible. A scary poem for those brave enough to assimilate it. Benjamin

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

wow the imagery of the "cult holiday" at its best here. I was only 6 tony when this was composed.

 

exalt amigo. love this!

 

victor

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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David W. Parsley

A very enjoyable (and impressive) composition, Dave. I can't believe you wrote this back in '77 when I was seven and didn't even know there existed such a thing as a poem. This definitely put me in the mood for halloween. Thanks for sharing it here.

 

Tony

 

Thanks, Tony, glad you like it. 1977. This award was my first in the world of adult literary competition on a national scale. I was fascinated with the concepts discussed in Robert Bly's "Leaping Poetry," which was all the rage at the time. And I still had the high school urge to scare the beegeebies out of people. Top that off with my first forays into psychology and you get this disturbing little thing.

 

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

Excellent imagery which embraces the surreal and yet at the same time doesn't quite let go of the tangible. A scary poem for those brave enough to assimilate it. Benjamin

 

< diabolical cackle > Thanks for taking the trouble to assimilate. Happy Halloween!

 

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

Craftmanship sir, engrossing read.

Much appreciated, Frank. I confess to making a tweak or two here and there before posting it on PMO, but I mostly let it come through in its original vitality.

 

- Dave

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David W. Parsley

wow the imagery of the "cult holiday" at its best here. I was only 6 tony when this was composed.

 

exalt amigo. love this!

 

victor

Hi Victor,

 

Funny you should put it that way. As a matter of fact, Lord Talbot himself came down the hill to visit after this was published. He was not entirely displeased with the production, but thought it impudent that I should assume first hand knowledge of his peculiar anxieties. In his current state (so he put it, at the time), I shouldn't worry, but he added that he could not be held responsible if I have a less favorable encounter on down the road. This came with the gentle reminder concerning the immortality of his kind, inconvenient as that may be...

 

- Dave (shiver)

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David W. Parsley

very good this and original

 

Ah, Eclipse, it just wouldn't have been a complete holiday without you acknowledging your participation in the experience.

Thanks for the kind words from one so accomplished in the genre.

 

- Dave

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I apologise for not responding to this poem sooner ... it fell below the radar (an out-dated slapdash system in my case held together by sticking plaster and rubber bands). You are a very scary guy -- or at least you were in 1977 when the first version emerged. Your profile photo shows a smiling guy in a tie. Maybe you are fooling us all!! Seriously, this is quite a good poem although I have a few nits with the sudden capitalisation of words in the middle of lines. Not a major issue, so well done Dave!

 

Brendan

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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