Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Signage

Signage

Stores die with the same velocity as bugs.
One day, humming, clicking. Shiny doors
parting like beetle wings. And then, gone.
Emptied out. A shell. The sudden voicelessness
of the SupeRx, its sign darkened and waiting
to be pried from the building. The town talks
about it. This is how they mourn. And when
the people of the town encounter those
they know working a till at the grocery story,
or behind bank glass, SupeRx gets stuffed
into the quiet between them. Always Did you
hear about the SupeRx, mmhmm, isn’t it
a shame. That a strange, new business
can rise to its feet in a body not belonging
to it. Blue signage plastered over red.
Shameful, the brutal reincarnation
of buildings. It’s a pharmacy again within
the month, sentenced to revisiting sickness,
the earnestness with which we fix ourselves.

13 comments

  1. This so well captures the dying and the resurrection of stores these days. There's a place near us that every three months or so shuts and reopens under a new name. I think the location is jinxed.

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  2. I love the sense here of stores as organisms whose independent lives and characters are hostage to the whims of humans. It provides an atmosphere throughout both quaint and sinister.

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  3. From Therese L. Broderick -- This poem is so well-made! Rhythm and images are in place. I love the bug-wing door metaphor! Metamorphosis, survival of the fittest, acquired resistance. As a resident of New York State, I find another implication to this poem, because stores and sites in New York City are losing income from the bed bug nastiness.

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  4. I can picture our neighborhood Safeway, recently closed, squashed on my windshield. As in your poem, it will be a new safeway complex very soon.

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  5. My favorite line is This is how they mourn.

    We've got a ton of empty shells in our community. I hope they aren't like those 17 year locusts.

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  6. As Therese said, this poem, like all of your poems is well made; your use of imagery perfect for the subject. It "animates" the store for the reader, and makes it a thing to be pitied; almost monstrous when it reincarnates, like a Frankenstein.

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  7. Oh, this is brilliant, Hannah, one of my faves of yours, the detached voice, the description, "Shiny doors/parting like beetle wings" -- it gives me shivers (the good kind!).

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  8. I enjoyed reading your Blog.Creating a digital retail signage system involves building a network of electronic devices that are controlled remotely from a central location.

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  9. "Shameful, the brutal reincarnation/of buildings."

    " ... the earnestness with which we fix ourselves".

    These lines are spot on! It seems to me that what we build (or make new with a facade and brighter lights) is partly an attempt to 'fix' something we can't necessarily define. Too often the 'new' is a band-aid that wears off and is replaced by an 'improved' band-aid.

    Impressive poem. How do you create with such consistency?

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