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This is one of a number of poems that exist somewhere at the boundary between prose and poetry. I've decided to continue defining it as poetry (and dividing it into lines) for now.


The Ruin

by Ken Sanes

After examining the living room
and finding nothing much of interest,
I decided to go into the kitchen,
where I was surprised to discover
that household appliances, pieces of furniture,
and all kinds of odds and ends
had been ingeniously fitted together into a tower
that almost reached from the floor to the ceiling --
or, at least, to what was left of the ceiling.
Looking through openings in the exterior
of this puzzle-crafted construction,
I could see that it was hollow,
with a central space that rose clear to the top.
There also appeared to be small balconies inside --
yes, balconies -- made of hardback books
sticking out from the tower’s interior walls.
At the bottom of the central space
I could see a photograph propped up on a table
that had been created out of a cutting board,
laid flat on four upright soda cans.
I was too large to fit all the way inside
so I reached in through one of the openings
to remove the photograph from the dark interior
and was aghast to find myself looking at
a famous image of Marilyn Monroe,
her skirt flying wildly in the air.
I didn’t even want to think about
what it was doing propped up on that “table”
or who the architects of this structure were.
Fortunately, it looked abandoned.
At least, I certainly hoped it was abandoned!
Taking into account the gaps in the walls
and the fact that some of the book-balconies
had already fallen to the floor inside,
it was obviously only a matter of time
before the entire edifice came crashing down.
I cringed inside as I realized the truth:
I was looking at the ruins of a temple
that someone -- or more accurately, something --
had built inside this ruin of a house.


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