Friday, April 11, 2014

NaPoWriMo Day 9: The Secret Life Of Phone Booths

Note: I know I read a poem ages ago about levitating phone booths, and I cannot for the life of me find it anywhere online - the book's in my hometown. So, apologies to the poet whose name I can't remember - this is a fond tribute, not a rip-off because I have very fond memories of that particular poem.

The secret lives of phone booths are complicated.
They stand, solitary street confessionals
Inviting telephone confidences.
Unwilling eavesdroppers of conversation
Each graffiti mark has its tale:
Marz luvs Joolz. Call Me xx-xxx
U sounded like coordin8s 2 avoid were an invitation 2 bed
Down with taxes! right next to Have more sex, it’s free.

Phone booths hold the weight of the world
Within their cramped, four-walled confines.
Close, heavy air laden with secrets
Claustrophobic with anxiety and sweat
The rank odour of dead dreams and stale food
An insistent, insidious permeation.

Such gravity is hard to carry.
Last night I heard a phone booth whispering to another
Through the telephone line:
A soft, dull patter like the rustle of directory pages.
They stopped politely when I made my call
Coins dropping through the slot like cheap marbles.
When I finished, I heard them resume
Before I put the receiver down.

When I exited, I swear I saw my phone booth float
Two inches off the ground, then lift off quietly
Into the air where another phone booth waited
A silhouette against the crescent moon.
But in the morning, it was back in its place
Solid, unmoving, a perfectly ordinary phone booth
On a perfectly ordinary day.

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