Patti Masterman


In Case Of Fire, Break Glass - Poem by Patti Masterman

Of the most difficult, unyielding opponents, foremost is
The blank piece of paper, staring, unblinking, while
The ideas roll off the other side of it, bleating.
They crash and burn in the silent vacuum of space
Leaving you blank-slated and sucking air-
But there are worse things in life than a papercut.
The worst things in life are done to yourself:
Getting the noose ready, the poisons lined up neatly
Holding the electric wires you step into that bucket
Razorblades clutched tightly just in case as
So carefully you weave the oversized shroud, full of finest black- hole threading
With brilliant flashes of metallic where you ripped your own selfhood,
Bloodied, where you dashed your own hopes
With malice aforethought, just to see yourself cringe
Shrinking Violet and Doubting Thomas that you are.
No outsider can wound you as quickly
With such breathtakingly reckless abandon,
Taking no hostages, leaving no stone unturned.
There is no gag can stifle that voice, that waylayer who dissembles-
The blackmailer who can’t be bargained with or paid off;
You can’t stop the car and leave him stranded on some anonymous dirt road
He is there with you for the long-haul, never doubt it.
Best to give him the minimum of attention
And then run like hell whenever he is distracted, when you’ve
Finally convinced him you always listen to his every malodourous insinuation.
And keep looking, looking, looking in every direction
As long as it takes: for the sun to break through;
The sun that shines on the just and the unjust
Wait for it as if your life depends on it:
Look for when the sun finally breaks thru:
Now look: And wait, and keep looking till the hour of the day you can say,
I see it now; there it is, I have been waiting so long
There is that brilliant blue.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 11, 2010



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