Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Sunday, July 31, 2011



What consoles you in a haunted house, not windows -- fierce eyes -- nor corridors of air -- breath of the beast -- and there's only a grey sun ever and the lands around, they're weeds, and you've always a chill and coming down with something

And the estate agent refrains from the stories of the prior owners, who've 'moved on' due to a death in the family they had to dispose of the property quickly which is why a place this large can be sold at such an available price

I rise very thirsty having trouble with the covers, my feet not finding the slippers and my calf cramping and there floats a tiny -- a fly that is just an infant -- fly in the water glass it must have dipped and been overwhelmed now placid on the calm

And in skimming it dry onto a raft of kleenex, its dim twitching and I rinse the glass and swab the lip before drinking so very much of the water and flipping a switch and having only the nightlight to follow back to the flat place where I am to lie

And it is nervous and 3 and I dream about pushing on the heavy doors and outside is my dad, he of the long-passed-on, wearing a sick-cap and smiling and glad to see me there and hugs my hand and I know that the house is a house for the dead

I want to say something true but grind mum.  Lilies.  Taken at long exposure, the recumbent quiet of Victorian child corpses.  The dream shakes, dehydrated by caffeine and cold-meds, and the dawn world, unrested, is unalive outside and by me goes a fly.



  1. Very different from what I normally read but I still read it three times. Each time I enjoyed it more than the previous.

  2. oh love your dream world too Truly...and am so happy to see your visit and pleasant to return it...the paths and tunnels of this otherside is full of possiblity and stepping into it nightly is one of the pleasures of living...bkm

  3. I like your style of writing. I was taken by this poem because it brought back memories of staying the night at my father's apartment when he was too weak and ill to be left alone. Those were difficult times but we were together.

  4. booguloo (Michael),

    Glad this worked for you. It grew on me, as well.


  5. Barbara,

    I'd like to say that 'life is but a dream, shaboom, shaboom', but we do note the different textures among what we recognize as 'imagination' and 'dream' and 'routine everyday' and 'emotionally charged moment'. Et cetera.

    I'd like to live strictly in the 'imagination', and try my best to insert it into the routine. And by-pass some of the 'emotionally charged' and any 'dream' that has horrific edges.

    We'll keep working those paths and tunnels, right?


  6. Raining Iguanas (JG),

    Thanks for the pat on my style. Quite antithetical to what I wrote for many years, and clearly to be considered wild and poor by verse formalists.

    By 'street poets', not wild enough.

    I'd call it a kind of free verse, tugging at, if not deconstructing, sentence grammar.

    This poem held images of my father. Most potently from a recent dream -- although I am not in any way validating the poem on the grounds of 'it actually happened'!

    The dad dream is mixed with a couple of movie haunted house residues plaited around and smeared with notions of seances. No particular scene.

    Thanks, bro!


  7. This was truly fascinating.... interesting concepts and style, fresh and real while also mysterious and a bit eerie. :] xx

  8. catieeliza,

    Thanks for your fascination. In a way, I'm 'just a piano player' here. The atmosphere is partly my own night sweats and partly film eerieness.

    Ever see The Innocents? Deborah Kerr movie from 1961. Sensational.

    Actually, I recently saw an Australian DVD of Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw, based on Henry James's classic novella.

    That opera held so much of what the movie did, I wonder if the movie's director Jack Clayton or Truman Capote, the screenwriter had tapped into Britten.

    (Wikipedia credits a 1950 William Archibald play -- source, too, for Britten, in 1954?)

  9. Looking for a Magpie connection - but I guess 'I can't get started' is the only one I'll find...Different!

  10. Trellisimo,

    I still haven't gotten started!

    Thanks, Trell!

    Trul (yfool)