Production Notes for February: The Movie

1. Snow covers everything like a film.

2. The only theatre in town is showing The Return of the Bride of Quietness.

3. Overhead, a wedge of geese: A greater than sign? Lesser than? A boomerang?

4. The world is as quiet, white, and immobile as a crime scene. Go back to your homes. There is nothing more to see.

5. We are living in an ice pick epoch.

6. You are between stations now, and the radio is all snow -- static, stasis, metastasis.

7. A two-page spread for glow-in-the-dark, faux snow by Hasbro.

8. As far as the eye can see: pine trees, pining.

9. I.V. tubes hanging from the icy branches.

10. Outside the elementary school, a family of snow people.

11. Paper snowflakes in every classroom window. Some are clearly identical.

12. Children dancing in the grooves of the snow plow.

13. The ground is hard and cold, like Belmondo in Breathless.

14. The only diegetic music: the hectic commotion of thick flakes.

15. Snowy mounds: kyphotic, erotic, necrotic.

16. Between the quilts and covers: quivers.

17. Snow covers our footprints before we can make fresh tracks.

18. What made you ever think you could ice skate?

19. Chap stick syllogism: Therefore, all good things must come to an end.

20. Our only aspiration: suspiration

21. Outside the ticket booth, we huddle together for warmth.

22. It’s bitter cold, but at least outside we can still see our breath in front of us.

23. The audience sits, facing the white screen in the early dark, waiting for the lights to come on.

24. The cold bothers you more these days.

25. You find you’ve started to use the word “marrow.”

26. A warm memory of Tweety Bird: I thawed I thaw…

27. The ice begins to give – a tickle, a trickle, a rivulet.

28. The slow dissolve.
This poem will appear in the next issue of River Oak Review.

Originally Published: January 13th, 2010

John S. O'Connor's poems have appeared in places such as Poetry East and RHINO. He has written two books on teaching: This Time It's Personal: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative Nonfiction (2011) and Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry in the English Classroom (2004). He earned his BA and MAT from the University of Chicago and his PhD from...

  1. January 13, 2010
     Ol\' 333

    Oh MAKE me look up some words why don't you.\r

    Enjoyed the piece. Thanx.\r


  2. January 13, 2010
     Ol\' 333

    In fact, my little Oxford doesn't have it, my big one's at home, and I don't feel webby....anybody wanna hook me up on kyphotic and suspiration? I imagine a small Greek animal and a wet, breathy nose whose nostrils stick shut annoyingly and go squelch.

  3. January 13, 2010
     Bhanu Kapil

    One of my ambitions as a blogger of this Harriet will be to find IV tubes and take them up the canyon to Rocky Mountain National Park and hang them from the tree. To take a photo and send it to you. I wish it was possible to insert a photograph into a comment. I will try. I will ask Travis Nichols how to do it. You have written a beautiful poem, whoever you are.

  4. January 15, 2010

    Kyphotic: hunchbacked\r
    Suspiration: sighing [archaic or poetic]\r
    New owner of a Chambers Dictionary, still delighting in it.\r
    Love the beautiful poem which makes me miss winter even more desperately as I swelter in the tropics.

  5. January 15, 2010
     Old 333

    Why thank you, my dear. I still miss my big Oxford (a 1973 Compact) - if we'd had kids, I might be keeping them, but I'm afraid that dictionary be hers. Oh well, I've got the cat, who has got a cupboard of her own in my shed-house. I guess I can always look things up on the Net, but the computer somehow stops me thinking (i reckon radiation).\r

    Little kyphotic suspirators, staring soulfully from their mismade forms. Ahhh. That goes well with this next (5th amendment autoengage).