Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Thirteen, Poem #13 - Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

NaPoWriMo prompts #13 – from the first line of a Norman Dubie poem

The morning’s mail rises up the stairwell[1]

a wake of awakening on lizards' toes

and plumage-feathered tails.

Postcards from miniscule islands mingle at the

landing window, basking in the shadow

of a dusty, wilted philodendron.

Chinese food menus and lost pet flyers

rain down from above as a door slams

scuffing across a welcome mat askew.

The bank of metal mailboxes groans,

longing to be unlocked and fall forward

in a relieving heave of hinges.

Too many bills, too many bank statements

and not enough tangos, waltzes, be-bops from the

tips of fountain pens, ballpoints, bright crayons.

No one in the building is aware that this

set of worn steps and rattling windowpanes

is haunted by the ghosts of first class.

[1] from “Not the Bathing Tank at Madras: A Romance”, Norman Dubie, published in Blackbird, Spring 2008 (v7n1)


  1. I love this! I found myself feeling sad that all anyone was getting was bills. Almost no one sends card anymore, do they? Anyway, this is wonderful take on the selected line. It felt like the mail had a lifeforce of its own.

  2. Wonderful stuff. Your language is lively, lush and lovely.