Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

The Director

by Matthew Hogarth

That’s the old director’s plaster cast
On the wall, looking as if it were
Alive. I moved him around in times past
But there that piece a wonder now.
Step over what reels and spools,
Blonde wigs, big wooden fingers, trivia,
Mannequins fill this basement room. You’ll
See that profile branded around.
But now, here stand before the face,
His expression- would you say- a frown?
Yes, manufactured for some kind of skit
Many can’t face my keeping of it.
See! The white cast with gaps for eyes
There, the space, where matters arise
Clocking and tracking the room, the world
All ready, the wound-up plot to be unfurled.
It grabs you by the throat, you see?
As though you yourself are held to degrees,
As the passing train stifles cries
Patient viewer, for you prescribed.
That cheap plaster marked with spots
But plotting these moments as acts, as shots.      
The director’s gaze leaves grace untouched
Lay down before the man who knew too much.

Added: 05.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


A little awkward to read in places. Consider re-working a couple of lines that don't quite scan? Otherwise, some nice phrases and images.