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The colour scheme, all of the fittings, even

the rectangular reproduction,

above the bed, of an abstracted landscape

that might be desert or water, sunrise

or dusk reflected in the wardrobe’s mirror

were exact replicas of all those

he had already seen in all the rooms

he had stayed in the centre of cities,

on the edge of towns, at all compass points.


There was always, however, one difference –

the view. Through the sealed, double-glazed window

he could see an empty office block

with one blind still drawn on the sixth floor.

As always, he searched meticulously

for other differences – and found two.

On the green carpet between the bed

and the bathroom door was a tiny stain.

In the narrowest gap between the landscape

and the wall was a sheet of white paper

with black italic word-processed text.


Tunnels and wells and spirals

and silence…


I have come out of the adit

of self- absorption and self-distrust

into the view and light of landscapes

and stretches of water…


Why did I not credit achievements,

accounting defeats only?

Hell was a locked and windowless

suite in an erstwhile Grand Hotel

become Secret Police Headquarters… 


Knowing nothing,

having too much to say,

I  have found myself in silence.




© Copyright David Selzer
3 Responses
  • Keith Johnson
    March 28, 2018


  • John Huddart
    March 29, 2018

    I’d agree with Keith! ‘Huis Clos’ revisited.

  • David Selzer
    March 29, 2018

    I was in an amateur production of ‘Huit Clos’ many decades ago. It is, in a sense, a circular play. During one performance I momentarily forgot where I was on the circle. I remember not one line dialogue – but that moment of panic remains vivid!

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