Friday, June 29, 2012

Helene Pilibosian: HOUSE OF TOYS


I crank
the old phonograph
in a dream,
the song of Caruso
having slowed.

The past
is such a show,
a dream with a window
to open and close,
screened, cleaned.

I adjust
its cadence
to the song of life,
putting time
under the microscope
and spinning
with the stars.


The room is
large enough,
painted an accurate
shade of pink
to complement
the lights.

Dreams are toys
here. They
run on batteries
or they pretend
to prattle
at the children.

I throw a net
over those dreams,
metallic as the old
black stove that
seemed so perfect
when the trolley
ran on its track.

The clock strikes
midnight as children
of mothers become
adults and mothers
become grandmothers.
The clock strikes
upon the hour
of a life that is
wound for measure.


It is quarter past 10.
Business of the day
stirs baseball talk,
the exercise walk,
a change of counters,
calculations of painted
rooms and canvases
that draw lines
around the bronzing
of the sun.

It is quarter past
the dream
and a Magnificat
is playing,
evaporating into
a mystical mist.

It is quarter past
reality and
crickets of an August
that hugs us
are chirping.

This poem was a finalist in a Half Tones to Jubilee contest.

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