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The vanishing perspective of columnar support pillars

by Richard Paez

The vanishing perspective of columnar support pillars
(20 minutes spent sitting next to Library West on September 23rd, 2004.)

What strikes me
Is not
The chain link fence
Erected
To keep me out,
To keep construction in;
..........The piles
..........Of bricks, the pallets
..........Of useless, metal things, the pyramids
..........Of scaffolding, in;
The way it snakes
Around the semi-building
Like an egg, semi-incubated;
Encloses the mouth (o)f
This gaping thing, its tooth-lights;
..........The way its coils surround
..........Some planters, not others,
..........How it swallows
..........Some park benches, not
..........Mine.
Its bolts dig in
To concrete like fangs.

What strikes me
Is not the empty windows
The incomplete, almost-framed windows
The glassless, airy, dragged-chains and hammering
Noise-vomiting windows
The lipless
Screaming windows.

What strikes me
Is not the gutters without rivulets, the black tarps
The tiered roofs, the underbelly
Parking, the nerve-wires exposed,
The destruction
Of building, the unnatural
Familiar sounds of sawing,
The vanishing
Perspective of
columnar
support
pillars
The mouth of this thing, the hopeless
Sounds, regular, of massive objects
Dropped.

What strikes me
Is not the crane;
Treads digging earth,
Extended pinnacle reaching
To god, some useless
Weighty thing
Dangling
From its hook;
The high-up-there wind
Blows,
In blowing sways
Its length;
The way it turns towards me
Seems like the end
Of the worl—

*

What strikes me
What strikes me is this:
On the other side of this continent,
On the other side of the world,
Right Now,
You're walking by
Some construction
Just like this one,
Not smoking,
Being leered at
By guys in stained jeans
Bright yellow hats
And not once
Do you stop, look up
At the fences
At windows and things
And think
About me.

09/23/2004

Author's Note: As the subtitle implies, this was written for class. Please read this to someone out-loud, and when you reach the * after "Of the worl-" smack your hand down on the table so as to make the loudest sound possible.

Posted on 09/23/2004
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Amanda L Marron on 09/23/04 at 11:19 PM

that was a great read Richard! i hope you get an awesome grade for class.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 09/24/04 at 12:02 AM

Ouch! Superbly presented!! Excellent poetics from start to finish...evocative in its buildup to riveting ending.

Posted by Rachelle Howe on 09/26/04 at 11:30 PM

i'm so green right now. *grin*

Posted by David R Spellman on 09/27/04 at 03:26 AM

Great read Richard. Its incredible to take such an ordinary, non-descript (to the majority of folks) thing like an average everyday construction zone and turn it into this. And the ending is just perfect!

Posted by Rachelle Howe on 09/27/04 at 07:48 PM

"What strikes me Is not the crane; Treads digging earth, Extended pinnacle reaching To god, some useless Weighty thing Dangling From its hook; The high-up-there wind Blows, In blowing sways Its length; The way it turns towards me Seems like the end Of the worl— *" and the ending, mr. pez. (my personal pez.) equally such, but... yes, yes. but this part, what a crash and burn effect.

Posted by Max Bouillet on 09/29/04 at 02:06 AM

Excellent... the deep compteplative tone of the first part and then the wit at the end parody the emotion and situation that you present. Great read.

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