Monday, March 06, 2006

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2001)

Welcome to a formal
synthetic heaven where
a starlet loafs on clouds
as silent death ascends

before the dingy scrim.
Around art noveau grafitti,
props, Edwardian chairs,
out of kilter windows

and walls the sleepwalker
steps from his phony lair
with panther precision. Dark
Hamlet shirt and tights

heighten tension but he’s
his father’s ghost also
with mime white face
and hands which hold

no skull. A black
blob shifts about in space
before the photo over-
exposes. Up goes his

arm offensively, jump
cut to the knife, tallow
like the stalker’s skin, hard
as a hockey mask mold

but behind racoon eyes
a better thought takes hold.
He groans a grin. He needs
substance beyond the surreal

terra incognito. The touch
incinerates both scene
and screen and paradise
is all frantic futile

struggle. That harp
wasn’t helping. That bliss
takes you out from behind.
Wake up. You’re dead.

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