Saturday, February 14, 2009

Poem: If the Fire Is in Your Apartment

If the Fire Is in Your Apartment

You live in a combustible building, love,
so warns the fire notice on your door.
Sure, the apartment is controlled for rent,
above a laundromat and liquor store,

but have you not observed the plaster tear
and the hardwood floor curl its long nailed toes
when flames, for regulated gas, consent
and sear cod fillet and asparagus?

Or when you plugged in the a.c. with hand
damp from an afternoon of sex, were shocked
by the hideous circuit hidden in cement,
unplanned combustion in what’s built and blocked

from us who slum in this construction sham.
So read this notice. Plan your escape route.
Run if things ignite without intent
and hammer every door on your way out.

--First published in Shit Creek Review


Iwawoman said...

I love the first two paragraphs of this poem, it has a real comical 'warning' feeling about it. It doesn't quite tail off the way I could imagine but that is one of the aspects of originality in your work. Cool. x

fleuve-souterrain said...

enjoyed reading this a lot Jee... the tone of realism is stark and beautiful.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks, Iwa, for your comment. Always good to know what a reader thinks.

Hi Nabina, thanks for the kind remark.

Emilio said...

Hey Jee, I'm in. See you Friday,


Jee Leong Koh said...

See you, Emilio.

Pier Roberto Giannelli said...

You are a real poet. I enjoyed reading these.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks, Pier Roberto, for reading.