Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Five O'clock (Poem)

Five O’Clock

Two homes in Salt Lake’s Avenues,
only a block apart, and a nearby field

at arsonists’ hands. Police,

filmed from an angle in the sky,
chase two boys

through body-thick streets,
eventually apprehend three—

teenagers whose blood flamed out
and scorched the bone-dry earth.


  1. Interesting. Rather intense. I find the perspective from what I assume is a news copter particularly interesting. It not only gives me a point of view, but a whole bunch of peripheral distractions like rundowns, stock tickers, lower-third graphics, logos. Plus the poem seems to take on the news anchor's voice from that point on it is halting and intermittent, like I'm absorbed in the scene and only picking out the key words and phrases from the commentary. Then the final two lines impute blame and motive while adding a sense of desolation.

  2. You bring up some good points, things I hadn't thought of. I wrote this last summer after a couple of fires sprung up on the news in quick succession. Your comments capture the essence of what happened when I was watching the story unfold.