Thursday, May 26, 2016

"The Latent Motion of Mannequins" by Ross Balcom, Frequent Contributor

The Latent Motion of Mannequins
Ross Balcom


The mannequins: frozen Eros
in the shop window.
I had to do them.
"Here comes Papa!"

I smashed the window
with a trashcan, and then

I was all over them,
hammering them with my

pelvis. "I'm fertilizing the
void, the plastic void!"

Know me mannequins;
feel my fire, blazing.


The men in blue arrested
me and brought me here.

"You can't jail my passion,"
I told them, seething.

You can't jail my fire.
It's spreading, spreading.

An army of mannequin
women, unfrozen, march

to free me. Millions of them,
their feet pounding the earth,

 a vast rhythm rocking
the streets, toppling buildings,

bringing down the walls
of this jail. "Come to Papa!"

A force unstoppable,
all-powerful, manifest

now and evermore. "Feel it,
feel it! Released at last:

The latent motion
of mannequins!"

Poet's Notes: We've all been exposed to stories about dolls and mannequins that come to life. Recently, while walking through a department store, I "saw" a mannequin move very slightly. I recognized this as a perceptual error, but the experience was still unsettling. I decided to write a poem about mannequins-in-motion, and this is it.

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