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The Politics of Drowning

by V. Blake

i was sitting at an empty bar,
a few stools away from the apothecary behind it.
he, at the agreed-upon signal of glass against oak
took three steps toward me with a mischievous smile.
the man wore blue and silver and, for the first time tonight
i noticed a nametag that read "Romeo" in a rushed script.
he grinned like a nightmare, and gestured grandiosely
at various pronunciations of "the wrong answer"
that stood in a line on the far wall beyond him.
and then, without a trace of irony on his face,
he looked right past the glaze on my eyes and asked me:
"What's your poison?"

and when the only laughter i heard
was an echo of my own from the bottom of my glass,
i just sat there, alone, and feeling like a frog
suddenly all too aware that the night around me
had come to a boil.


Posted on 11/28/2009
Copyright © 2024 V. Blake

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ava Blu on 11/28/09 at 09:59 AM

where to start.... the title is really perfect for it. "he grinned like a nightmare" - wish I'd come up with that! and the last stanza, I feel, holds the most power. it's almost like a revelation at the end of a story. very well done.

Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 11/29/09 at 04:52 AM

I love the feeling right from the beginning in this of being in a centuries old, even medieval place, somehow, as it each figure is legend, and everything is significant. The use of "apothecary" and gives "poison" a different feel, the "silver and blue" seem iconic. It takes place in a bar, and simultaneously has a modern feel. The "feeling like a frog" in this context makes me think of transformation. This feels like it could be scene in a film, such a vivid description.

Posted by Anita Mac on 11/29/09 at 06:07 AM

I just love that last stanza... The night boiling... I know that feeling, or a feeling that might be described the same. Well done!

Posted by Jared Fladeland on 11/30/09 at 07:31 AM

pretty awesome grotesque creation here. reminds me of a short film i saw at a local film festival that a local filmmaker made.. it was at this mansion, a pizza delivery guy stumbled into this halloween party, and it was filled with strong images, not necessarily gory, but just off... (the whole thing was done with one continuous camera shot, and it was pretty brilliant the way they used it to their advantage to change what you expected to be there when the camera turned back a certain way and things were completely different)... anyway... that nightmare quality really translated well here

Posted by Johnny Crimson on 11/30/09 at 02:24 PM

great write. Almost feel like you should answer his question in another poem. hmm. good job.

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