Sunday, December 13, 2009


I was being separated
from my fellow travelers
singled out for extra paperwork
or my visa wasn't like theirs

blocked from
entering or
     entering too soon
to the rooms behind the fence

taken to the door
in the mountain
a weapon in my hand
    something unlike the known steel

I was being gathered with
warriors against the sting
swarm of world-destroyer hives
scattering out to the stars

taken the fight along hivehome
dying alien queen whose stingers
infected us all in turn
      till we found out
how to defeat her

I was being taken out
when the nova bombs went off
particles blasted, an entire nebula

awoken the next
morning, awoken all night, awoken
between chapters

till sunlight woke me finally
late, and for good

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Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I’ve attempted a grand total of one sci-fi poem in my life. In fact that’s the only piece of sci-fi I’ve ever completed. Puzzles the hell out of me because I love the stuff to death. This feels like a first draft. The idea is fine but I think it could be smoothed out. It feels clunky. I do like the choice of tense, the continuous past – ‘I was being’ is unusual and holds the attention more than simply ‘I was’. I liked the line ‘between chapters’ very much. Is this supposed to suggest that the narrator is a work of fiction who is being forced to do this and that by the author?

5:40 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Well, this is a second or third draft, but I don't know that smoothing it out is possible. Time will tell.

I like your interpretation, and the sad truth is that is this was (being) an actual dream, written the following day. Not my first poem that is basically a transcription of a dream experience, either. Very fertile material. In this case, the dream was pretty much as in the poem.

1:01 PM  

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