Feigning a Fine Fettle

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Automatic Response

Automat - Edward Hopper, 1927

Automat – Edward Hopper, 1927

Fan blades parcel apocalyptic light

Within a band, floating in the dark,

Sending sonorous waves of minced night

In a rapid, rhythmic electronic glower-

A buzzing sound sizzling solipsistic-

Metronomic, monolithic, monotone.


She’s solitary, party of one-

Closed-cropped expression,

Clipped, tight-lipped tongue.

Tile and steel, stainless reflection

Of the gulfing glass chasm reaching to caress

Compressed shoulders that shudder, breathing.


Huddled over captured heat,

A small source of brief comfort,

Conveying release to skin,

But only so deep

And not so far as the seat,

Across and empty.


Behind her, the floating globes

Proceed, in lined rankings,

Into cavernous inked spaces,

Projecting, only within themselves,

Of a frangible, intangible moment

Like whisper-kissed smoke, gone.


Give it to me straight.

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