Friday, May 8, 2009

Poetry Friday - valley of the clones

valley of the clones

there are
creatures out there
with faces impassive as sculpted egyptian pharaohs
or department store window dummies
hair molded close to their skulls
noses and cheekbones carved from some fine-grained wood
eyes glowing in their sockets like electronic numeral displays
wholly immaculate like burial masks of stamped gold
from the valley of the kings

they gaze out from the swivel seats
of their stamped-alloy chariots
their glittering eyes scouting
from atop their chiseled cheekbones
scouring the night for


There's more than a bit of sour grapes in this one. It was inspired by the face of a young man looking out at me one night through the window of his Toronado, as he passed me on the local cruising block. I was attracted to him, but evidently it wasn't mutual, so (as people have done with me sometimes) I read his attitude as arrogance when it was just as likely to have been shyness, self-absorption when it was most likely indifference. But as often happens when I write, the original impulse got lost when I began developing the imagery, and I posted it because I like the poem, not to gripe that someone wasn't interested in me after thirty years.

I also wonder whether I knew what "clones" meant as gay slang at the time, or just chose to ignore that meaning; it certainly didn't refer to men like the subject of this poem.