Poets' Corner: Feela With Lesson For The New Year
We tend to think of the beginning of the New Year as a cosmic white-out: bad things disappear; hope springs eternal. Regular TIO contributor David Feela is a retired teacher, poet, free-lance writer, and workshop instructor. His writing has appeared in hundreds of regional and national publications since 1974, including High Country News, Mountain Gazette, Denver Post, Utne Reader, Yankee, Third Wednesday, and Pennsylvania Review, as well as in over a dozen anthologies. Feela’s feeling on the New Year seem refreshingly matter-of-fact: It starts out as it ended, a cliffhanger. The White Hats might win. Might not. Nothing is certain but change.
Box Office Lessons for the New Year
The superhero always hangs from a ledge
since the first reel of fantasy time,
only seconds left before evil
steps up sporting black steel-toed boots
and a smile that reeks of pleasure.
The situation appears helpless, hopeless to us:
Close-up on the face of a clock,
a frizzle of wires like Medusa’s hair
leading to the bomb already thinking boom
the evil one drops his titanium toothpick—
the superhero sees it fall, curls his split lip,
catches it, clenches the toothpick
between his teeth and launches it with his spit
at such a velocity the toothpick lodges
in the clock’s face, prevents the minute hand
from reaching midnight:
only three seconds left:
Close-up on the evil face
suspecting his jig is up, sweat
trickling now, the smile
shifting to a tight little grimace…
The credits roll, no need to explain
how it all works out, the last three seconds
stretched to fifteen minutes, time
turned elastic for the sake of a cinematic snap.
We go along with the gimmick
film after film, saying
how riveting the whole story seemed,
thinking from the edge of our seats
if we just hang on
if we just hang on.
Comments are closed.