Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bill Lewis-"The Beast"

The full text of Bill Lewis' poem "The Beast" can be found here. It's a rather heartbreaking poem, starting with these lines:
"The Beast sits by the telephone

Beauty doesn't call anymore."

Anyone who has ever felt lonely or rejected can relate to the Beast in this poem. What I love is how Lewis' Beast is still optimistic, and uses fairy tales themselves to comfort himself and give him hope for the future-
"He reads Angela Carter novels, fairy tales

and Mother Goose and hopes that wisdom

does not go stale over the centuries."

I had written a short story myself along these lines-not assuming that Beauty had left him, but set in the time before he meets Beauty, and doesn't know for sure that he ever will. In my story he has a beautiful romantic dinner set out for two and imagines the girl of his dreams is there, and for a while he even believes it, until the end when he has to acknowledge it's all in his imagination. Again, this is meant to be a universal theme that anyone could relate to-is hope a tool, or torture? Can our imagination satisfy temporarily the longings for things we don't have, or does it make disillusionment all the more cruel? The poem tends to assume the latter-
"He does not know that sentimentality

is an act of violence.

In the dark bedroom his good eye waters."

*I had the above image saved as "Bryan Alexander" so I assume that's the artist's name...don't remember where I got it from.

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