SENTINEL POETRY #27 (ONLINE) MAGAZINE MONTHLY  - February 2005

DAVID ALLEN

THE FINAL CHAPTER
(No More Novel, Play, or Poem Similes)

I'm leaving at the end of this chapter,
I'll vanish like the dot that ends this line.
I'm going before the novel's finished,
`cause if I stay the story's partly mine.
And I never cared too much for endings,
good or bad they all mean the same thing.
They tell you that the Goddamned story's over
and I never liked the feeling "The End" brings.

I'm the character that never did develop;
a walk-on part run over by a train;
a vehicle for early romantic interest,
swept away by unexpected heavy rains.
I'm the question always left unanswered
by some glib remark made by the leading man.
I'm the patient being wheeled in on the gurney,
who dies as the leading lady holds his hand.

I never could remember the lines they gave me,
and they hated the ones ad-libbed on my own.
So, I'm giving my role to the understudy
and I'm leaving for some new stage to call home.
I'm the poem that lost its rhythm.
I'm the line that won't end in some perfect rhyme.
I'm too free form for the tastes of the critics
I catch lurking behind me all the time.

This is the end of a long history
of poems thick with cultured similes
I'm razing all the old romantic lies.
I'm tearing down the allusions
to those chapter and verse confusions,
I'm wrecking all trace of those stale guys.

I'm going to hammer home the meanings,
no more screwing up the screenings
of the silent movies screaming in my mind.
As I buckle on my tool belt
I massage the hammer's smooth hilt
ready to nail down the message one more time.



Notes: David Allen won the December Challenge on the topic of New Beginnings. His prize is a signed copy of Chukwuma Azuonye's Testament of Thunder. The January Challenge is still on until the 10th of February 2005. The topic is the Asian Tsunami Disaster. There is still time to enter the challenge. Register free now at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sentinelpoetry



Next Page

TESTAMENTS OF THUNDER:
Poems of Crisis and War

Azuonye, Chukwuma
Written during the Nigerian Civil War, the poet communicates through his work, the feelings of `the wasted generation'. Gloss, xvii, 147pp, USA. NSIBIDI AFRICANA PUBLISHERS, 0972224157
2002 Paperback

Africa Book Centre

Our Price: 11.95