Sunday, March 18, 2012

Notebook: His Room

The third poem from my final portfolio from winter quarter. This one is about the passage of time and a boy's room. It's a bit longer of a poem. Tell me what you think!

His Room

I. The Before

The room is empty space
all four corners vacant
of sofas, tables, lights,
Michelangelo must have felt the same
when he gazed up at the vaulted ceilings
The weight of all the apostolic succession
glowering down at him – waiting.

Mom and dad, hands intertwined,
appraise it like Lewis and Clarke
surveying the American wilderness,
envisioning the nation that would be.
His hand goes to the curve of her belly.

II. The Playroom 

Baby blue like a baby’s laugh
decorate the walls with smiles
Little boats with white masts unfurled
sail along the ceiling’s edge.
A crib of glossy elm,
German-made and sturdy,
lies quiet in the spot
where the sunbeams hit the window
and the little head, fuzzed with faintest hair,
watches with simple wonder.

A few years later, the same blue walls watch
over the six-year-old
bent over his dinosaurs and Matchbox cars,
blowing raspberries, crashing them into each other.
Mom watches through the crack,
shushing dad as he comes to see.

III. The Locked Door

Wallpaper speckled with grinning skulls
covers the walls; the laughing blue forgotten
Posters of screaming heads – they call it singing.
They wear enough makeup and black eyeliner
Mom fears a French fashionista would tear her hair.
The bed is wrinkled and worried
blankets and sheets never made up
like those brash, vulgar
rock stars who wear makeup
because they’re not made up.

Mom screams, banging her fists
at the blockaded door,
“No locked doors in my house!”
No answer. She yells for dad,
who shoulders the door open.
They shiver at the winter’s night wind
blowing in through the open window.
“He’s snuck off again,” mom says,
“Probably to see that whore.”
Dad chides, “Don’t say that.
Jenny’s a nice girl. Besides,
he’ll be back.”

IV. The After

Weeping yellow – mustard so pungent
their eyes water.
The wallpaper is peeling
like sunburn after a day at the beach
without the all-important sunblock.
The posters are gone,
the bed is gone,
the desk where he worked
on homework piles, two inches thick
long into the early morning
long after his mother had said goodnight

A couch, worn leather
like an old boot that fits perfectly,
sits where he once laid his head.
A vase of blue and white china,
depicting a bearded dragon coiled,
holds flowers freshly-picked
and smelling of spring.


  1. I liked hard contrasts of each section like singing and screaming heads, blue walls with dinosaurs and matchbox. Also, dreamy reminiscing aura is felt when historical characters end with familiar "worn leather." Great job Blake!

  2. Thanks for commenting, Humps! I definitely wanted the contrast to be in there, but I did worry about it being too jarring or sudden. I hope you found that it flowed smoothly.

    Thanks for reading!