A City Full of Eyes (James Cilhar)

About James Cihlar
Author’s Notes

 • Rancho Nostalgia
 • ’Til We Meet Again
 • Night Song
 • Lonely, Deeply
 • Light and Dark
 • The Face Behind the Mask
 • Johnny Guitar
 • Undercurrent
Nora Prentiss
 • King Arthur and His Mob
 • The Normal Lives of
    Good People
 • English Poem
 • The Projectionist
 • Man Proof
 • The Reality Show
 • Modern Maturity
 • Epistemology Roadshow
 • Nostalgiarama
 • Let’s All Chant
 • Rancho Nostalgia II



Nora Prentiss

Her alabaster cheekbones rise out of the shadows
            as if out of well water,

Ann Sheridan’s bedroom eyes slipping
            off the sides of her head,

her shimmering figure moving through dark liqueur,
            pulling us into the inky frame,

making the doctor leave his family
            as effortlessly as she makes us love her.

Baked cement towers above the black enamel streets,
            the Plymouth’s slide is a constellation of white dots

in concert against a midnight backdrop. The city’s
            grind and shriek, roil and glow

surrounds the coolness of clubs, stale hotel rooms,
            unlighted hallways and offices,

sparking like a transistor panel. Desperate for weeks.
            Be with people. Hear some music.

Open the floral curtains and the dark room dissolves into flames.
            His disfigured face breaks into gray diamonds,

refracted like a kaleidoscope, dazzling as a funhouse mirror,
            the lover in jail, a monster behind a screen.

  © James Cihlar, 2012