new zealand electronic poetry centre


Claire Hero

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology



After Metropolis

Montage of machine.   The mouth
of a monster.   Or is it the heroine
plated in armor of prayer
and pablum.   The plot twists,

and she turns from saint to serpentine,
from golden to gold, child to after.
I think I know this story.   Good
is good, evil is evil, and a woman

is a mechanical love-interest.
It’s a matter of mirrors, of who’s
watching whom.   A great head
rests on its pedestal, proclaiming.

Men inch through a folktale of steel
while girls encircle a love story
remade Frankensteinian in the US of A.
Cue the peacocks.   Start the fount.

We’re picking up steam.   It signals
a changing of hands, but who to trust—
the inventor?   The man turning the wheel?
Not even the clock, chasing its tale?

As one lift rises, one descends
into allegory, allegory into history.
Mind the gap.   The catacombs are filled
with men down on their knees.

Elsewhere the butcher, the banker,
the dynamite-maker
convene at an exotic peepshow.
Elsewhere towers topple, cogs stop.

News flashes like sequins.
Is this then, or sometime later?
Should we cheer the crowd?
The flood, the fire?   Music swells.

We’ve caught our villain, but we know
that won’t last.   The fire is spreading.
Soon, the great black-out,
the frame announcing the end.



Last updated 25 April, 2005