Ian Blake


Retrospective, With The Architect - Poem by Ian Blake

We look on over the flood
The city block beneath me, for once.
A spiral staircase on its side sticks out,
A plaything for the trout, no entrance
To cotillions.

It will take millions to repair this,
I offer. But dammit, I don’t care;
I loved this block.
He seems not
To hear me. A floating stop sign
Goes on by until it’s cut off
By a yield sign that won’t give way.
Not one to miss an irony, he laughs,
The rain sings on like a telegraph talks.

Go on with your devotional, he says to the drops.
I built all this for you.
For them, I ask, surprised, a little jealous,
Not for us – or even your art?
Good God, he replies.
Every rock I pull from earth
Longs to be engulfed again
Bound like a homing pigeon.
Can you imagine ever that I studied,
And aligned my T-square
And wanted to design
Wetter than water?

Let the currents whip around my staircase,
Badly as they want to, for sooner or later,
They would have changed it to an elevator.

I withdrew the question, but secretly I prayed
The blueprints hadn’t gone out with the tide.

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Comments about Retrospective, With The Architect by Ian Blake

  • (1/7/2006 9:17:00 AM)


    This is Great Ian, my personal favorite of yours. Ilike the way that yougive voice to that 'I like it because I do' attitude', suggesting no furter explanation. Alsothe way that two understangs are set against each other: That of the builder, who has a functionalist view and that of the narrator who tends towards the Romantic view. In that you seem to be questioning creation (The Architect in some views, such as Freemasonary, is God) and as such, Art itself. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 6, 2006

Poem Edited: Friday, January 27, 2006


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