Friday, June 10, 2011

Police tape

Every morning she’s photographed waking up in another position.

Monday: Splayed, and mouth gaping like a union soldier

Tuesday: Crouching as if about to jump from a frosted cake

Wednesday: Collapsing into herself like Jack Ruby being mortally wounded

Thursday: Breaking into bits of birds

This morning she woke like Ophelia with her hair fanned out and floating, hands folded; and last week there’s a picture of her

knees tucked up, fingers curled against her cheek

as if making a desperate phone call to consciousness


Jim Murdoch said...

I like the imagery here. It reminded me of a work of art I saw in Edinburgh once where a girl had take a photograph of herself faithfully every day for a whole year (bar one day when she said she forgot – so there was a hole in the middle) and I was very struck my its power and its simplicity. I have mixed feelings about the title. I think you’ve used the title wisely, to give the poem context, but I found myself wondering under what circumstances a prisoner would be photographed (or even videotaped) every morning like that. So that distracted me but I still wouldn’t suggest changing it unless you could perhaps amplify the circumstances. Is she a criminal, a political prisoner or what? I like the piece though, the five snapshots, and some nice picturesque language here too. Shame that Thursday makes me think of Madonna’s video to ‘Frozen’.

Kathleen said...

I see the "she" as representative of various things related to the female, or what happens to women (still violence, constantly; hence "Police Tape"), or the women's movement, or a state of mind in a woman aware of all this. My husband opened a conversation yesterday saying, "There's another woman missing..." which could indeed start any day of the news.

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