Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision

It came over her like a stench; it came over her like the underside of an overdriven car.

It came over as if she were a tunnel and it were sky and what she opened to was it and what she closed off was it and what it was was madness.

Faces turned to cheek and talking to teeth and she noticed as she had never noticed that K’s were incisors and S’s that absence on the gum you want to run your tongue over.

There was a turkey made of china–this was not a geographical joke but rather shellacked with wings and inside the turkey folded a flim-flam of napkins that flapped at her whenever she tried to take the S’s out of her mouth, and her aunt took a napkin out of the turkey’s quiver and dabbed her eyes and her mother stared over a blur that was nose and really it was quite a bit better to let the tunnel roof just curve–

And she made a tent inside a flashlight and in its dome she saw a red that translated as translucence and she thought that if she could ever eat light it would be that red. It would not, she knew, taste like jello, which was substantially darker and more lapidated.

And if you say our father all night through the who art in heaven will carry you too,

and if you pull up the blankets, you will not see the cheeks and if you turn on your side right, the teeth will go back in their mouths–

This could not be blamed upon any kind of string theory, but only on a balloon, but only on a bubble, something that grew tight in her, which was not at all like a bubble gum bubble, more like those made of soap that tunnel light even as they burst–



This is very much of a draft piece for Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads relating to shipwreck.  Not sure this quite fits the prompt; it’s not autobiographical.

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10 Comments on “Tunnel Vision”

  1. kim881 Says:

    Wow – dark and expressive. I was really shaken by the lines:

    ‘Faces turned to cheek and talking to teeth and she noticed as she had never noticed that K’s were incisors and S’s that absence on the gum you want to run your tongue over.’

  2. Brendan Says:

    For me, the shipwreck is in the drowning nature of this poem, an overwhelming of sense, brain flooding because someone forgot to replace the cover on the filter. Some brilliant imagery here, that a stench immerses in a trapped space of terror, the vertigo of madness (been there done that …); that light could possibly eaten, the way the specific words of a prayer could bridge over nightdeath, etc. This hovers 20 leagues down, already drowned, as the memory of one who did so long ago, as how a drowned mind considers the world today. (It remains a place of wonder …)

  3. The sense of being left out is so strong in those murderous syllables… And hey there is a always a string theory attached.

  4. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Your prose pieces are very strong, karin, with enough mystery to sustain the flash fiction-like tale.
    I do get a sense here of a lone survivor in her tent lifeboat, not sure if she’ll make it to land.

  5. “and what it was was madness” maybe that will be the epitaph on the headstone of the world.

  6. Sherry Marr Says:

    Oh I love Debi’s comment. My poem went in that direction, just posted it. This is a BRILLIANT exercise in imagining terror and madness from the inside………a shipwreck of the psyche brilliantly rendered. Wow. Your prose pieces are fantastic.

  7. It may not be autobiographical but it is still a gorgeous piece. It took me many places at once. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  8. Absolutely thrilling — left a chill in my spine — your images are heart wrenching, powerful. Mad and sublime at the same time. Thanks for sharing.

  9. M Says:

    wow ! lyric, tangible, and a sense of what’s-to-come…

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