Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two Colors (BWI)

The current threat level is
an abstractly arranged orange,
according to this not-so-human

voice squawking on behalf of
my all-too-human government.
It's for everyone's protection.

Outside the airport windows,
greater Baltimore squats against
Tuesday's sky, suspiciously solid

in its concrete pour of gray.
She's coy on when things might brighten
again. I'll have to wait with my bags,

unattended and unsure
whether old homes can ever feel
as homey. I make do pretending

someone has swapped those two colors.


Hannah Miet said...


You had me stringing from line to line here, inhaling the gray reality you paint so beautifully.

I can't really get over the first two lines.


Jenny said...

The images feel distinct and clear like frost and, at the same time, a surreal tinge seems to be spreading like haze. I like that combination.

If anything looks "suspiciously solid" (especially when it comes to the Government), then there is mischief brewing. Call me paranoid.

Francis Scudellari said...

@Hannah Thanks so much. I was sitting around the airport trying to embrace the grayness.

@Jenny I definitely experience the mundane as surreal or hyper-real at times. It's probably just the way my mind works. You're not paranoid... there's reason to be wary.

Anonymous said...

The security levels at airports reminds me of several dystopian (and or) sci fi novels I read lately.

As a kid in Norway I learned that the government was a good thing, which protected and nurtured me. However then there was the question of a free will.

Ande said...

Elegant. I love the deceptive “everydayness” of this one, how it intermingles with the menacing. I guess airports make me feel this way too; a transition zone uses power which normally is hidden in our societies.

Francis Scudellari said...

@PO The US color-scheme of threat levels is mostly ignored by travelers here because it's so abstract. Governments are about control, and I think we all bristle a little at the loss of free will.

@Ande Thanks. The airport is a strange little way station, and the menace has taken on a greater role these days.

Garth said...

Today's threat level is black and white pinstripe(with a zany tie so that people will take your policies seriously)

Great piece Francis - evokes the dead time spent in transit.