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29: the way out

Cable-carried am I,
upslope,
in harness.
Slow. It is slow.
I hear the rollercoaster clacks,
each prophesying sinister thrills.
With powered eyes I see
continents of fogged-in secrets.
Sorry horses stand, bedraggled in streaming rains.
They look to me with pleading eyes,
but I have no help to give.
Clack, clack, clack…..a sharp turn.
The dream veils are dropped,
and it is bright cooking sun.
Beetles of football size float by with a helicopter buzz.
At my left hand, now, is a rail of brass.
From it hang leather pouches,
each containing an object of obscure purpose.
Now a can of grease.
Now a pair of winged sandals.
Sunglasses with upside-down arms.
I see now that my left hand holds a red stop button,
and I press it.
The rippling tinkle sound of a taut chain relaxing.
I do not wish to leave items that I might need,
but I don’t know what to take.
I pick up a red phone, hung from a post.
Its rotary dial says “phone a friend”.
I say hello.
Someone in a cackling voice says
“We are all mad here”, and hangs up.
I decide that the items in the pouches are false bait.
There’s a tin pedal at my foot,
like the ones in bumper cars.
I step on it, and move on.
My path drops away, suddenly downslope,
and I feel a release from the ratcheting chain.
I am speeding now, in full panic.
There are three rushing rivers at the end of my Zip line.
Within arms’ reach, there is a lever with three positions available.
I try it, but it does nothing yet.
There’s a brake pedal too, and I jam it as hard as I can.
I smell the smoking steel, memories of subways long ago.
Once more, I am at a crawl, coming to the end of the line and the rushing waters.
There is one last leather pouch.
It holds a pair of stout cutters, and I take them.
Out of track, now.
Feet dangling, I hang from an overhead derrick.
I try my lever again.
It moves me over the gateways of each water.
Cockeyed conifers point to the left hand way.
On a ledge, above the right hand river,
a rainy horse.
I shift the lever, then cut the cord.
The water is warm,
and oh so sleepy.

Lee Dunn View All

Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.

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