Poem #3: The Assistant Master Electrician

The Assistant Master Electrician

A tree of metal tubes frames his compact wooden perch. From here he can see everything.

The colors are not his, but he controls them.

The scaffold moves with his voice: a hair to the right, not that right – your other right, right there, stop, just a little more, go back.

The star enters from the left and finds her mark. For him, she sits still, though she doesn’t know his name.

You look pretty in that dress.

Twenty-six at full, boss shouts. Watch your eyes.

A shower of cerulean light pours through the instrument.

I said, you look pretty in that dress. This time she hears him.

He paints her face with Rosco 70, Nile blue obscuring her blush.

Imagined music underscores the scene on stage. They waltz together, or maybe it is a tango.

Flood the lamp a bit, would you?

A beam splays across the seats into the third row.

Not so much. Spot it to the edge of the daffodils. Find her feet.

Two gloved hands with surgeon’s care frame her with luminescence.

He makes her appear as she does in his dreams.

We have what we need from you. Your special is focused.

House going dark.

She stands up and waves goodbye into the nebulous space surrounding her.

He waves back, hoping that he will bump the lamp and they will have to begin again.

@NBF 4.14.2009


Washington, DC, 2005



This poem is based on a picture that I took with a cell phone about 4 1/2 years ago. In it, a friend of mine was on a lighting scaffold above a stage focusing lights onto the star of a play we were in together. He had the most romantic expression on his face. I cannot find the picture, but I can still see it in my head.


2 Responses to “Poem #3: The Assistant Master Electrician”

  1. sweet sweet sweet
    such a sucker for romantic wishfulness

    begin again, beginnings are just too damn addictive

  2. Whoops, comment spam-ola… but holy beautiful shot of DC.

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