Fay Watson and the Empty Chair

You want me to sit
on what you think
is an empty chair?

Not while he sits there,
his soft blond hair
matted with blood,
face grey as the smoke
from the gun I pressed
to his head.

He’s not dead
to me, he’s locked
in my brain,
a bloody stain
I can’t scrub clean.

And when you swill
the developing shot
in your chemicals,
I know he will
appear

in what you think
is an empty chair.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Fay Watson and the Empty Chair

Image found on http://publicdomainarchive.com/public-domain-images-1920′s-vintage-mugshots-nswpd-special-photographs/

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics – Mugging for the Camera also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Lillian is hosting a bizarre Poetics today, asking us to go a little ‘out there’ on a creative limb with her. She says that she happened upon an interesting website the other day – a collection of vintage mug shots from the 1920s taken by the New South Wales Police Department. They are all in public domain. Some have just one person; others have two or more in one photo. She sat there staring at this odd assortment of characters and got to thinking about how writers create characters for books, movies, poems, and even cartoons. How writers weave characters into a narrative; give them personalities and foibles; clothe them; create twangs or lingo or a way of speaking for them.

She has shared a small selection the mug shots, as well as a link to the website, and would like us to choose one of the mug shots from the 20s that ‘speaks to us’.” We should let our imaginations go a bit wild for this prompt. We could take on the persona and speak for them; put the person into a poetic ‘wanted’ poster; or tell a tale in verse that ‘spins’ around the mug shot we have selected. We are limited only by the far reaches of our creativity! The one requirement is that we post the mug shots we choose in addition to our ‘mug shot poems’.

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45 thoughts on “Fay Watson and the Empty Chair

  1. oh you’ve done well by this mug shot! The question really is about empty chair….and you’ve nailed it here. Excellent description..and the allusion to the old way of deveoping the film by swishing it in the chemicals is perfect. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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