Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Red Balloon (At Forty)

Today's poem of the day is courtesy of Alex Boyd, who as you all know (seven or eight times over by this point), is reading tonight with Claire Tacon at the London Music Club. So Londonites! (Yes, all 8 of you, don't think we don't count--) Come out and raise a glass with us to two pretty gosh darn great writers. 

At Forty 

He feels like a kid in a hardware store, half his allowance spent, he needs to think
more carefully about the other half. Thinks
of the T. Rex, dead 65 million years but back
in a way it couldn’t have conceived, the flat
and flickering climax of a film.  He knows
he’s the grunt that would’ve made a good general,
but never mind that now, at least it’s no longer
a world with live cats burned in a wicker effigy.
He remembers standing in the heat of Florida with his father, and when American singers beamed,
announced they were The Voices of Liberty,
his father said “I knew it,” and turned away.
Trusts he’s made of old moments that rattled
past like boxcars, has pain when typing, notes
the slow betrayal of his body, but senses
a much bigger pain behind other doors.  And,

something new, his soul starting to get away, trailing him for the first time, a red balloon.
The image is a screenshot from Albert Lamorrisse's 1956 short film The Red Balloon, which you can learn more about here.

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