dances with broken strings

he has the biggest feet
i’ve ever seen, balances,
stretched to the max &
dangerously shaking on the window sill,
trying to fix a broken blind,

I have had glimpses of buried treasures
and other things submerged,
white envelope, non window (who would
need one) 100G, CS & price ex VAT

his efforts are without success,
the helmet of my colleague falls, i’m
fast enough to save the flowers though,

it was appointed that the water
should be locked in an eternal frost,
standard box file, black,
3 per pack, delivery: next working day

shrugging shoulders, he looks down “it
doesn’t fit, i have to try another one” &

he descends, leaving yeti sized,
black shoeprints on a pile of paper while
two carrots and a peach are breathing
from the safety of the shelf behind

i should’ve told him right?

he nods &
then,
we sit and type again
as if nothing ever happened

snippets in italics from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and from an office material supplier and i’m linking up with dVerse where charles miller tends the MeetingTheBar bar..

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34 responses to “dances with broken strings

  1. A very curious cool poem – I’m not sure I understand all the action, but still get a vivid sense of the scene and the guy and the repairs and the separation of repairs and guy and equipment and food and a kind of disassociation of office life, and physical life – you know physical “doing things” life. I really like the flow very much. There’s this wonderful personality in your poems.

    Side note – I think Yeti in English has ‘t’ – at least American English.

  2. I LOVE this part:

    “black shoeprints on a pile of paper while
    two carrots and a peach are breathing
    from the safety of the shelf behind”

  3. I get a few images in my head when I read this, and they’re all modernly funny! Very nice job with today’s prompt = an enduring poem.

  4. Glad you saved the flowers, we need them in this modern office jungle. Loved the juxtaposition of Dickens and office supplies, very creative and how appropriate he was trying to fix the blinds!

  5. has a very cool abstract feel to it. You know, I’ve read all of dickens work and tale many times, but taking the quotes out of context and into your poem, It’s odd, but I have to say that for the first time ever, Dickens doesn’t come off as dated to me, as, although he’s one of my favorites, top 20, when put in perspective, yet still, he always sounds dated to me, but not in the snippets you include here, which I tend to find very refreshing, and quite frankly kind of neat. i might have to read it again now, and see if this fresh take transfers upon another reading. Great piece. Thanks

  6. When I read your explanation of this poem I went back and felt the light dawning section to section. Even before that, though, I liked the action surrounding the rules, action that was so human and unexpected: “we sit and type again
    as if nothing ever happened”–should have told him what? That the carrots were safe but the over-sized footprints were on the paper? YES! Tell us the truth! Do not go on as if nothing had happened! And I liked that too, thinking of the media and all and the reader of life who grins and “bares” it as if nothing had happened . . . dancing with broken strings . . .

  7. Great, unusual but ultimately true snapshot into our crazy modern lives. Love the big feet (they are much underrated….. imho!)

  8. Typical. We humans do tend to go on as if nothing ever happened but, you did learn that he has huge feet. LOL
    This was different from you, abstract. Like a painting. 🙂 Liked much.

  9. It’s that indifference here, that distance, perhaps, between two human beings that work so closely togethet, the water iced over for all eternity. The product itself introduced as some kind of meadiatorial material, which ultimately doesn’t wotk, fit, wiok out. Odd to think of the helmet, though maybe that is required for these types of jobs? The Yeti brings to mind once again the fact that these people are like an alien being, though we sit right beside them. At least you saved the fruit and vegetable! 🙂 In its way, this is pretty exquisite, almost Dickensonian for what it does not say.

  10. smiles….def has a surreality to it that only reality seems to have…love the attention to detail that allows me to see the scene of the man…hoping the papers were not too important he left the print on…but then the layering with the excerpts…and then the rather non chalant going on with the day…smiles….

  11. So bigfoot came for a visit huh? Did you snap a pic? I hear they pay tons for them…haha..nicely captured of the normal day with a bit of wacky.

  12. The juxtaposition of quotes in your snippets sets the mood of alienation, futility, of things beyond our control, even the size of our feet, through which we must work anyway toward a goal we have no real conception of–really nailed the prompt with this one, the hollow futility of the afterglow of the industrial revolution that was supposed to do so much for civilization and instead just reprises our worst flaws in a more dangerous form.

  13. I enjoyed it, Claudia. Not knowing about the other poem being worked in made it a bit strange at first reading, but it was clearer the second time around. Great images!

  14. Dang…I was going to go with the “surreal” descriptive but it looks as though everyone’s beat me to it! :0) I really liked the alternative stanzas and the great way you tied them together. And the images!!!

  15. I confess I don’t think I quite understand what’s happened – but maybe we’re not supposed to and can have our own interpretations? I like the way it ends with complete blandness of normality… something happened, but we all just shrug and carry on… That’s very true!

  16. This has reminded me so hilariously about times when my older-teenage son would climb around the house “fixing” things! I have also had neighbors in apartment buildings like this in my younger days! Great memories, lots of fun with this one, Claudia. Thanks so much!

  17. another bright snapshot from your able pen. big feet, shaking on the windowsill…this is clear cut and beautifully visual for me.

  18. How amazing for you to join Dickens with this prompt about modern life. It works, quite likely because you were the one to do it! (Those “yeti sized black shoeprints” really made me smile.)

  19. “dances with broken strings”
    Hi! Claudia…
    Thanks, for sharing your very poetic words…I find your poem to be very descriptive…as you shared an incident that could have been a [real] disaster…as these words:

    “he descends, leaving yeti sized,
    black shoeprints on a pile of paper while
    two carrots and a peach are breathing
    from the safety of the shelf behind…”
    jumped right at me… too!
    deedee 😉