Thursday, August 25, 2011

Interiors by Stephen Dunn

Cards are from my Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

By Stephen Dunn

In New Orleans, a Bed and Breakfast in a seamy part of
town.  Dentist’s chair the seat of honor in the living room.
Dark, the drapes closed, a lamp’s three-way bulb clicked just
once. I’m inside someone’s version of inside. All the guests
looking like they belong. Muffled hilarity coming from one
of the other rooms. Paintings everywhere, on the walls, the
floor.  Painted by the proprietress who, on the side, reads the
Tarot. In her long black gown she doesn’t mind telling me
things look rather dismal. Something about the Queen of
Swords and the Hanged Man. I wake early the next morning
for a flight. 5 A.M. She’s sitting in the dentist’s chair, reading a
book about the end of the century. Says a man like me needs
a proper breakfast. Wants to know everything I dreamed.
This, I tell her, I think I dreamed this.

From: “Good Poems, American Places” selected by Garrison Keillor, page 125


I have Garrison Keillor's previous two collections of selected poetry and they're amazing---overflowing with awesome poems ("Good Poems" & "Good Poems for Hard Times").  I scooped up this newest collection, "Good Poems, American Places" from the new book shelf at the library today and it's as good as the other two.  I've already marked about five poems to share.  I'll be adding it to my collection when it comes out in paperback. 


Kelly said...

I have the first two collections and love them. I need to look into getting the third one.

erin said...

i come away from this as though i have a mouth full of air and i don't know what to do with it.


Marion said...

Kelly, it's as good as, or better than the other two books! Thanks for stopping by!! xoxo

Erin, I love the atmosphere of the poem. I felt like the poem was inside my house. I almost had an old dentist's chair once, but a guy outbid me at a flea market. I got a weird sense of deja vu reading it, as if I'd read it before (I haven't). That's why it struck a chord within me. xoxo

Ed Pilolla said...

i like this too, especially the last line, after the detailed story.

quid said...


Stephen Dunn is a favorite. I, too have both books and need to get the third!

Thanks for the tip!