elysabeth faslund

Rookie (11/23/49 / Thibodaux. Louisiana)

The Poem 'House Lights...(Complete) - Poem by elysabeth faslund

Part 1....

Dare we wait inside or outside the back door...the alley, until
Our name is called...no time now. Our name!
Fluttering, shouldering past those not called. Yet.
Noticing drawn faces, hollow eyes with no color, black circles...
How long have they...no matter,
We've been called...
That man has many pages in his hand. Everyone will be
Called.
Will they?
Was it luck for us? Did the letter mean for us to be first,
After all?
Before all?

Up the steps. Past the man, door. Into twilight hangings of
Ropes, stage settings,
Shadowy figures passing beyond.
One wing off the stage. One, stage Right. The other, stage
Left.
Not the stage.
Not yet.
'Would you like to swing on a star? And, be better off than
You are...' Silly music, words.
We'd so love to be stars!
We know the routine. But, for every audition, it's different.
We're always given directions. Yet,
Directors are strange people.

Part 2

Reaching into that bag, we grab a handful, toss dust into
The air...words.
Words spiraling, wind-blown, never settling to one place,
One time...of air.
Yet, echoes rebound...fade against reality's cliffs...going up
Into clouds, or crushed by the Ancients' feet.
We did not walk ancient hills, sit by the Ancients' fires,
Gnarl meat offered us.
Why know we the Four Directions? We know words.
Do we know their meanings...
Or, as travelers, do we hand tokens with words of dust?
Pay all with dust...
Finally, justify offerings we need with dust?

In the morning, bright, promising, we sit by one river...
Knowing the banks are clay of words...settled there, then
Ripped out to flow...new meanings, all we'll never take back.
We do try to take words back...their dust sifts and falls
Through our fingers, mind, mouths.
Dust falls up, down, never the same place twice.
Dust falls.
Dust calls.

Part 3

What say you to 'House Lights...Part 3' poem?
'Director is calling us! Together!
You can't audition for my part. Why together? '

'Stage whispers carry far, you two.
On stage now...read your lines.'
'We have no script! How...'
'You've had this script. Lifetime of lines,
Pauses, exits, entrances, laughter, tears...
Begin again.
Again.'

Gazing. One smiled. One frowned.
Smile of frowns. Frowned smiles.
The same.

'Perhaps ad-lib would do? '
'Truth, reality, lies. The same...
Now.'
'I don't need this! Thank you!
Goodbye and thank you! '
And, in turning, found no exit.
The doorkeeper, smiling.

'What are the last lines, words, of your
Script? '
'I don't know...! '
'That must suffice.'

The Director sat. Theater dark...
'What are your last words, Director? ' Anger.
'You passed. Correct words. Spoken.
Someone sweep this dust
Off the stage!

The next to audition is....'


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Poem Submitted: Monday, October 20, 2008



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