Wednesday, 18 January 2017

the trance of fatigue

the evening downpour
had turned the sidewalk into
a labyrinth of puddle dunk-tanks
that soaked me feet-first
and exhausted me to my core:

the trance of fatigue –
blurring the borders
of perception and feeling . . . . . .

                                            I must have watched
                                            a lot of late night film noir,
                                            when I was a kid, for
                                            – in the watery miserable –
                                            visions of fedoras and trench coats
                                            and cigarette smoke swirl
                                            from beneath umbrellas and porticos . . .
                                            wafting through misty streets
                                            in phantom illusions as imaginary as film

ghosts . . . that leave me . . . yearning . . .
to warm myself in a lavender bath, and then,
wrapped in Mom’s burgundy afghan,
watch the turned-down-low
monochrome late-late night movie show 
cozy and safe:  listening to the rain 
on the window pane . . . and

every so often, Dad’s stop-and-start snore
whistling through the walls
of the bedroom, next door

photo:  The Watery Miserable – W. Bourke

© 2017 Wendy Bourke 


  1. I love this, Wendy. You took me from the city streets to those old movies. I especially like your mom's burgundy afghan.....I am a fan of fleecy pj's, fleecy blankets, soft couches and movies myself! I enjoyed Dad's whistling snore from the bedroom!

  2. Excellent, Wendy. And I know what you mean about wrapping yourself in mom's afghan! (As I was typing this, I noticed the comment above also mentions the afghan!)

  3. I do like the sound of rain on the window pane and not the feeling of it soaking my feet! This is so well-drawn I was drawn into it and the longing for a scented bath and a cozy afghan myself.

  4. Love this.. the watery miserable evoking the night scenes from old classics.. beautiful!

  5. What a wonderful clip - i think those films absorbed and were absorbed.. you seem to have made the trance of fatigue quite comforting..

  6. Oh this is soo beautiful.. so evocative Wendy! I was especially mesmerized with the part about "I must have watched a lot of late night film noir..." sigh.. Unforgettable write!💜

  7. This make me miss the city so much. Rain is so different when you can see a film noir in a puddle. Love the sense in this, and how you turned it into something cozy and fantastic.

  8. You are always so good at taking something that should seem ordinary and turn it into a thing of wonder. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth of the bath, smelled the calm in the lavender, saw a glimpse of the movie... and when the first snore trickled through the wall, I smiled.

  9. This is excellent. I especially like the opening three lines and this section:

    "ghosts . . . that leave me . . . yearning . . .
    to warm myself in a lavender bath, and then,
    wrapped in Mom’s burgundy afghan"

  10. What a delightful memoir that so many can relate to. How easy it is to delve back into our past and find an array of situations that sit there waiting to be written.

  11. Good memories of watching those old black and whites feeling safe and secure in the walls around us. Very nice...bkm

  12. That was awesome... love the style

  13. This one is unfolding like a classic film. I love the voice you have here, Wendy. Liked the title too. Ah, fatigue.. sometime can bring the best in us

  14. Hate it when it rains so much. I do love the comfort though of snuggling under afghan. Smiling at the sounds of snores.ha

    I enjoyed the narration very much Wendy. Hope you are well.