Tuesday, June 11, 2013

the nightmare room

The door never was locked. It is an adequate latch, so why change it out? Even after a century of foundation settling that's shifted the ceiling like slate a hundred miles underground, it's plum as a carpenter's thumb.

I'll be reading...there in that very chair, subtle as a slow sleigh ride, lost in my little world nudged along by Capote, Woolf, shoved by Hemingway, and the door softly latches with that solitary click. Like a ghost hanging a do not disturb placard. Sometimes late at night I hear the door slam. I come downstairs anyway and check. Murmured conversations of souls annoyingly finishing each others sentences cease right as I pull back on the handle. I shiver and think I'll heave the lantern one day at something with big teeth that wants my blood, and the papers will boldly type how I burned down my own home sweet home.

Maybe the dead come in the sink-dripping night to look at my books. I find some of the older books opened. And pages of my manuscript missing, perhaps used by Thurber to blow his nose. I find pages dog-eared. The cat hunches its back at those.

No, I don't need your key.
You take it and get the hell out.

Charleston Farmhouse Door, UK


Blogger Berowne said...

The sink-dripping night - cleverly descriptive. Well done.

6/11/2013 5:28 AM  
Blogger Emma Major said...

there's power in there, wonderful

6/11/2013 5:29 AM  
Blogger Helen said...


Favorite lines:

The cat hunching its back at the
dog-eared pages....

The ghost hanging a do not disturb placard ....

6/11/2013 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea of it being haunted, I initially thought that too, wonderful and amusing

6/12/2013 12:25 PM  
Blogger Sienna said...

Like a ghost hanging a do not disturb placard.

Loved this piece, my fav line above !!!

6/12/2013 3:28 PM  
Blogger Karen S. said...

Oh my, such a powerful poet you are indeed!

6/13/2013 12:13 AM  
Blogger hyperCRYPTICal said...

Brilliant read!
Anna :o]

6/13/2013 8:45 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

I love "sink-dripping night" ...could hear that latch click too...wonderful write Phil...

6/13/2013 4:53 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

You've created a little bit of ghostly magic here.
A great read.


6/15/2013 10:51 AM  

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