This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, June 03, 2005

Office Man

Bright dust motes float, held fast in beams
   Of slatted light; as fades the day
There sits a man of no extremes,
   A proper man — in every way.
But in the twilight, lazy dreams:
   Behind cool eyes, the secrets play ...
The curve of neck, the stocking seams:
   The lissome girl he saw today —

Soft bend of waist, the hair backlit;
   A breeze caressed her summer dress,
And God! he rose to let her sit —
   She did not see his thoughtfulness,
But swirled around headlong, to flit
   From tram to street, a cheekiness
Which suited more, he would admit;
   The heart expects its hopelessness.

© 2005 Jeffrey Hull


Nice! Good atmosphere -- subtle glints of social detail -- as well as psychology. The detail of stocking seams is terrific -- it places the scene in the past, and then the word "tram" does too. So it's a poem about memory even more deeply than it first deems. But then it's also about anticipation, in the terrific last line, "The heart expects it hopelessness."
Thank you, Richard. Your comments are always deeply appreciated.
"The detail of stocking seams is terrific -- it places the scene in the past, and then the word "tram" does too."

Funny how details often obscure each other. When I read this poem, I was so focused on the opening image (dust-danced sunlight) and the evocation of the SPIRIT of futile but oh so necessary longing, that I didn't notice such chronological details.

As I recall, Pops (that's Jeff, y'all) envisioned the man of office himself as evocative of office scenes from the movie Bladerunner'.

But then, seamed stocking would probably be oh so haute couture, and trams are likely to be a prominent feature of the near future urban landscape -- unless we find a heap of unanticipated oil to propel the Automobile Era a few more domineering decades.

Were this cinematography, in which the suspension of disbelief works in a different gravity, one defined by the maxim 'Seeing is Believing', we could have our vintage cake and eat it in the future too. (This trend is already prominent in cinema. ONe would not be at all surprized to see a 'sci-fi' movie with meta-Victorian ambience accompanied by these dyschronological features: pearl-handled death ray blasters with fine wrought silver filigree, wooden-hulled anti-grav cruisers, and worsted wool trousers on bare-chested constables whose shoulders sprout genegineered wings...

Dang. I need to get to work.
"But then, seamed stocking would probably be oh so haute couture"... in the future, that is.

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