STANLEY PACION

Rookie - 4 Points (Chicago, Illinois USA)

Corporal, All-Night Love Encounter - Poem by STANLEY PACION

Corporal, he saw time,
He saw thirty seconds, he saw temporal instant,
He saw the spin, the vortex, the end point,
The whirl whereat all disappeared, no fiction,
No imaginary construct, the vanishing,
The event plane was real,
The same as any other object in existence.

He was turning the corner into the living room,
When he noticed the couch had become clear light,
Transparent, a configuration of lines,
Blue lines on white background, and at the bottom,
A rectangular box spelled out Blanks to be composed at latter time, They read, NAME, ADDRESS, and PROJECT TITLE.

Corporal felt himself slip into more familiar space,
He lay upon the bed on his back,
He sat up. He bent forwards and grasped his toes.
He was smarting.

He was hurting all over! He suffered!
It seemed every muscle, every joint ached.

My! What a plethora of subjects crossed his mind.

Corporal, he saw every crack and crevice of heaven.

He rolled up, brought his knees to chest,
And then white light,
He caught such gigantic power,
That night he broke the bubble and went beyond,
He went way beyond the stars, he walked a field,
The wheat had grown up to his waist,
He ran full speed, and he could see himself,
He could see himself stark, dark figure in the distance,
While he ran, he ran, breakneck, towards the horizon,
Horizon of black-and-yellow, checker-board-colored sky,


2.

It was at this moment he turned to ask her,

Their clothes were scattered throughout the parlor.
It was late night and a view of lower Manhattan lights,
The buildings, street lamps and bridges burned,
Out the window the illumination, awesome,
Out the window view from
The twenty-fifth floor of the high rise.

He asked how it had been for her.
Corporal wondered because they had never left
The front room couch and the sadness of reentry,
Earth's gravity began to exert its heavy hold.

And she, adopting chapter and verse from
The good Doctor Leary's work, replied, she replied,

'A thousand times better, it was! '

'A thousand times better, ' Corporal queried?


3.

Their clothes were scattered throughout the parlor.

Corporal flashed in Technicolor,
A motion picture screen,
It occupied the theater before his eyes.

The hall of the movie house appeared vast.
It had three long, down-slope aisles,
Which parted rows and rows of upholstered seats.
When Corporal tuned his gaze upward,
He saw a fretted vault with giant chandeliers,
Whose crystals seemed to float impossibly down,
Down from way, way up atop the hollow of the structure.

At the cinema's front, a long, flat-board stage
Ran below the drop of the great, silver screen.
The stage had a trough for footlights,
And thick, purple, velvet curtains, themselves
A match to the fabric and the color of the theater's
Upholstered cushions. The curtain was parted,
Then gathered, draped,
One to each side of the the stage's width.

The movie house hosted an orchestra pit.
A short shinny, marble wall, and upon it was mounted
A low brass of post and rail, this wall and fence
Separated the pit from where the audience sat.

Elsewhere, as he considered what lay before him,
Corporal discerned, ornate blocks,
And floral, leafy rosettes carved in high relief.
Bright light, on-and-off, splashes emanating from
The aperture in the projectionist's booth
Accented the luxury of the antique setting,
Highlighted the palace-like details,
The decorative elements of the theater's interior design.

Corporal was stunned by the back and forth of the lights.

He lapsed, it was as if he had a time machine transport,
He saw workshop studios.
The tables and tools of long-ago, men who wore aprons.

He bore witness to the labor of yesteryear,
Industry beyond narrow focus of bottom line.
He lamented how terrible the cost of greed,
That new notions, corporate profit priority had replaced
The love and regard for hand-made things;
His mind ran as a freight train from town to town,
And when it slowed to heed the road level crossings,
Corporal saddened over depopulated stores.
He saw towns with ghost people walking the sidewalks.
The sight of an old girlfriend,
Sitting on a bench in empty public square, unsettled him.
The thought occurred, he wondered whether,
Had big-box merchants reduced the work of America
To the stacking of shelves with cardboard cartons.
Click, click, click, he heard machines dispensing,
Before him loomed an endless role of bar code labels.


4.

Corporal refocused his vision.
lunette mural
His mind's eye returned to the movie house's interior.
He saw upon the walls, fluted columns,
They rose the floor to the ceiling,
And, framed between them, between those columns,
Lunette murals, paintings, pictures of deep woods,
These painted forest scenes opened upon coves
And secret, manicured gardens whose waters reflected
Amorous gods, deities at sport,
Who played at love with mythical creatures.

And, then, in the moment, when
His eyes returned to the feature,
The show that ran upon on the silver screen,
He realized the film playing was a cartoon.
At first he thought, Yes, Popeye,
But no! No! Olive Oyl was not there,
Instead he saw a white-hot blonde,
With long, curly tresses, bouncing from her shoulders,
- These were full action figures -
Then he realized the cartoon characters,
Who animated the screen, they were he and she.
They were locked within impossible embrace.

Corporal heard the music score, wham bam,
He checked, he reached around his torso,
Touched his back,
He had to feel with his fingers,
Otherwise how could he have know,
Did the joints of his spine still stay in place?

He wondered whether contortionists on view,
A dream, or was it third-person glimpse,
The camera's true capture, the hours' previous delight,
Now projected with vivid light, on the screen,
Oh, the animation and color before him!


5.

He mulled it over, he was trying to discern,
What was real, what was not?
And then he fell to warm, all-over, pleasant body heat.
And heard what he knew was voice of the Lord.

'Eagle, Eagle arise… Why sleep now? '
'It is dawn, and eat and drink,
'And all the eagles wait to watch you.'

'Lord, Lord, ' corporal whispered,
'All that You have put upon me,
'I know these things are good.

'Haven't I been promised them since youth? '

And she, her face no more than an inch away from his,
(They were still upon the couch in the parlor.)
She sighed and responded, again, to his erstwhile query,

'It was a thousand times better! ' She said.

Corporal ran, he ran, breakneck, towards the horizon.
It was late night and a view of lower Manhattan lights,
Although now a slight color of dawn touched the horizon,
The buildings, street lamps and bridges burned,
Out of the window the illumination, awesome,
Out the window view from
The twenty-fifth floor of the high rise.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, January 7, 2014


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