Size / / /

SPACE went to war with itself at 8:20 Tuesday morning
on the phony oriental rug in my living room.

The bombardments and aftermath I sensed, in some sixth way;
everything looked/felt/smelled/sounded the same
yet an invisible encroachment, an enlarging of small,
a tightening, a suffocation of cramp, imposed itself
just beyond my skin; perhaps you didn't believe me then . . .
though stacks of books, mounds of paper, rows of knick-knacks
leaned closer, loomed larger, the very walls snuggling close,
cozier, leaving me short of breath, in shock and awe.

Or that's what I thought then, not understanding,
though the objects that inhabited SPACE with me did,
desperately stretching for each other, knowing they
would soon be as divided as brothers whose loyalties
lay to either side of the Mason-Dixon line.

Oh, but now, I live in No-Man's-Land, and since you left,
no woman's. The cause of this madness still lies just outside
the edge of my mind, my grasp; did LENGTH offend HEIGHT,
or HEIGHT break its truce with WIDTH, or VOLUME
volley insults at AREA? Or did the dominoes of murder
and betrayal and treaties broken begin their topple more locally:
Floor vowing vengeance on Ceiling, forcing all of Attic
to mobilize, the conflagration bending UP and NEAR
in lines I cannot fathom, every treacherous step
leading elsewhere, nowhere, following no direction,
one moment falling, another compressed
on all sides, too crushed to scream.

My rooms slip in and out of higher dimensions.
I cannot distinguish one filthy SPACE from another.
This house has balkanized, with me its single lost refugee;
nothing remains of the world I understood except nothing,
that deprivation of all, deprived even of peace.

SPACE undone in your vacuum
but TIME, tormentor, won't abandon me;
it forces forward motion, oblivious, unsleeping.
I don't know how you found the door out, but couldn't you
have shown me the way?

 

Copyright © 2004 Mike Allen

(Comments on this poem | Poetry Forum | Main Forum Index | Forum Login)


Mike Allen is editor of the poetry journal Mythic Delirium and president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. About his latest poetry collection, Petting the Time Shark and Other Poems, Analog reviewer Tom Easton writes, "Image, feeling and even humor. A package worth its price." To contact Mike, email mythicd2001@yahoo.com.



Mike Allen is president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and editor of the speculative poetry journal Mythic Delirium. With Roger Dutcher, Mike is also editor of The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, which for the first time collects the Rhysling Award-winning poems from 1978 to 2004 in one volume. His newest poetry collection, Disturbing Muses, is out from Prime Books, with a second collection, Strange Wisdoms of the Dead, soon to follow. Mike's poems can also be found in Nebula Awards Showcase 2005, both editions of The 2005 Rhysling Anthology, and the Strange Horizons archives.
Current Issue
2 Dec 2019

Winter has finally ended, and here you are, on the first day of summer, stuffing your pink feet into the sand.
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Sheldon Costa's “The Garden's First Rule.”
small bones / holding flecks of ash / rigid in her hands.
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Mari Ness's “Gretel's Bones.”
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
,
Issue 21 Oct 2019
By: Omar William Sow
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Amy H. Robinson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 14 Oct 2019
By: Kevin Wabaunsee
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 7 Oct 2019
By: Charles Payseur
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Davian Aw
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Sep 2019
By: Kali de los Santos
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Heitor Zen
Podcast read by: Julia Quandt
By: Sérgio Motta
Podcast read by: Sérgio Motta
By: Isa Prospero
Podcast read by: Solaine Chioro
Monday: 3% 
,
Issue 23 Sep 2019
By: August Huerta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Sep 2019
By: Marie Brennan
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Hester J. Rook
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Hester J. Rook
Load More
%d bloggers like this: