October 15, 2013

Caught on Film

Caught on Film
by WC Roberts

We marched on Washington like step-children in a fairy tale
no bread crumbs but the Bill of Rights a spray of pansies
clutched in our hands following the Socratic death
of Hollywood Ten defender Bartley Crum
a handful of reds washed down with fire hoses
our cries for help drowned out by boos and raspberries
blown from the steps of the whites-only Capitol.
Tubes under the banks of the Potomac whisked us
from one sterling prison to the next,
a disquieting vision produced in camera
where every cell turns black by light of day
drawn out and desiccated by a thirst for things
we do not -- indeed, cannot -- know:
the evidence in our case; their case against us.

* * *

WC Roberts lives in a mobile home up on Bixby Hill, on land that was once the county dump. The only window looks out on a ragged scarecrow standing in a field of straw and dressed in WC's own discarded clothes. WC dreams of the desert, of finally getting his first television set, and of ravens. Above all, he writes, and has had poems published in Strange Horizons, Apex, Space & Time Magazine, Mindflights, Aoife's Kiss, Scifaikuest, Star*Line, and others.

What do you think is the most important part of a historical fiction poem?

There are many parts. It’s most important they work together, and make a plausible whole.