Oblivion Avenue (A Poem)

By Joyce Jacobo

[Author’s Note: Inspired by a dream filled with ideas for characters and places just waiting for their chance to appear in fiction somewhere.]

Along Oblivion Avenue           or so I have heard

  ideas exist in a state between what might be

                   and what might never have been

        the road

           winds

                         about

                 like

             a

              discarded

                    ribbon

                             upon

                          the

                ground  

    sometimes composed of cobblestones

        or marble

           or smooth      canvas blankness  

             or unidentifiable surfaces 

                  that stretch into shadows

                        which turn anyone who dares to enter them

          back onto the same path

                                       aside from dreamers

                                                         such as us

I have ventured into this realm cast in eternal night

               while lost among dreams

     (of which I suspect each person has their own version

                                only to forget later)

           led along by the Cloaked Lamplighter

                                          with a green scarf

This mysterious guide has led me

     past repair shops presided over by animatronic workers   

          often in argument with the objects brought

                                           for their attention

I have noticed butchers who cut up enormous vegetables

                                   then hang them on hooks to chill

                                                          just outside their shops

              sampled the goods of bakers who add rose petals

                                       to their pies for extra fragrance

       and watched candlestick makers able to create candles

                                          from special types of paper

                                                folded in just the right way

 I have listened to clockwork mockingbirds

        perched atop the roof of a small red schoolhouse

            while the children inside dance a jig to a math lesson

                   (headed by their teacher)

             done to the rhythm of the birds’ melody

                         again

                      and again

                       and again

                      and again

                to practice their steps for the day

                     when they can find freedom

                                (as the Cloaked Lamplighter says)

                             in another artistic medium                  

Each resident of Oblivion Avenue

     has different circumstances

                          dreams

                              and hopes

       from the lone violinist  

                  with ambitions to one day

                             perform “Amazing Grace”

                                    before a large audience

             to the patient toyshop owner

                            eager to make children smile

                                   through elaborate toys

                                         made by his nimble fingers                     

All of them wait for a recognized rescue

                                 from obscurity

                at the back of the mind

       like knickknacks placed

                      on a thrift shop shelf

           until someone carries them away

Or perhaps

      as my Cloaked Lamplighter guide has hinted

           the very mention of them here

        has allowed them to leave

                          onto new journeys

                                       …. freed by creation

6 thoughts on “Oblivion Avenue (A Poem)

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