“The Box” by David Blaine

David Blaine


I dreamt I had a box
in my living room,
like a radio with
moving pictures,
and it was holding
me hostage (in my Barcalounger).

I dreamt my box
was made in the image
of a rich man
a fat man
a man with halitosis
in his voice
(I could smell it
through my ears).

I dreamt I needed to go
to the bathroom
but the box said
it would break my legs
(and give me incurable dandruff)
if I didn’t stay to watch the commercials.

I dreamt the box
was like some kind of god,
omniscient, omnipotent, omnivorous
(although it ate mostly money),
imparting knowledge, saving souls
and panhandling for spare change.

I dreamt that the world shrank
around my house, and eventually
the world and my living room
were one, just as the box and I
were one. I got rickets,
I got hemorrhoids, I got the germs
that cause bad breath
and a terminal case of five o’clock shadow
(I looked like Richard Nixon on a bad day).

I dreamt that on the last day
the sun and the moon and the stars
and the only light I could see
was coming from the mouth
of the box of the beast
(Fox News was on 666 channels).

At the end of my dream, I expired
(from a combination of starvation
and TV dinner poisoning).
The world re-inflated, and a coroner
took my bagged body out into the daylight.

Then I woke up,
started a pot of coffee
and turned on the television.

from Rattle #55, Spring 2017
Tribute to Civil Servants

[download audio]


David Blaine: “I live and work in rural Michigan, where my wife and adult children run a hardware store, and I work for the Department of Commerce as a field agent for the Census Bureau. I see everything interviewing for the census. Although I can’t talk about it, you might glean a little insight through my poems.” (website)

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