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



Man Proof

Color is in the air between us. Call it Spiritus Mundi
or the collective unconscious, it is the teal and salmon
of the upholstered headboard, the ivory of the sheers
around the four-poster bed, the Windsor blue and Persian cream
of my dressing gown’s floral print. What type of girl am I?

I’ve been neither one thing nor another. The world you see
is not the world I live in. No silver balloon floating on a string
behind the white stripes of Venetian blinds abstracting the frame.
For me it is primary red, an ache of the in-step,
Franchot Tone sweating under the lights.

I’m nothing but a nothing. Let’s mock the barbarians in the ring.
No matter if they look like John Garfield and William Holden,
or W.B. Yeats and C.G. Jung. Maybe someday I’ll see my face up there.
Forgiveness is okay. I want the story to end before it becomes a story.
Hello, Mother. I’ll wager I look great in a blonde wig.

You talk and I’ll listen. Franchot Tone folds like a bad hand.
Tell the story backward and the balloon recedes behind a door.
My memory is your memory, my dreams are your dreams.
If I am standing on a cliff, then you are on the other side. Goodbye, Mother.
It was a good fight, and the better man won. Anyone got a ducat?

  © James Cihlar, 2012