Placing the Self Within the Scene

i 'The Street Scene'

this time he pulls up
dragging away on a cigarette

the van door thrusts open
and you jump in

watching him work the gears unevenly
before tearing down the road.

you straighten, struggling
to click your belt

as the opening credits
roll across the sky

their 'viewless wings'
fluttering with soundless certainty.

ii 'The Catharsis'

you're in the presence
of two 'lost souls'

one attempts to console you,
the other comes to your defence.

in this particular scene
you're the go nowhere type,

the James Dean comments
flake from your mouth.

iii 'There Will Come a Stranger'

at the movement's finale
the sun displaces the clouds

they find you at your desk
covered in darkness

the tears drying
before you.

iv 'Working With the Light'

the day darkens
then disappears

soft shadow


the room

you find your-

the words
you wanted
to say.

v 'Adjusting to the Garden'

you bend
to smell a flower

to the left
of you

trots a group of
Korean tourists

you watch the way
their figures

tug at the daylight
with elephantine ease

their cameras

the frames
of memory.

vi 'Resolving a Long Standing Problem'

somewhere in the last act
the dialogue takes an uncertain twist.

on the couch, the characters
assume Pinter-like aspects.

you rise from your chair
and step carefully around the argument

'a different perspective opens up'
outside your front door.

Poem © Mark Pirie, 1999