David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
The Monster Among The Empty Rooms

January 1, 2023

I knew that the house would grow old,

Creaking in the joints,

Brittle to the elements,

But I was unprepared for the empty rooms

That make up the attic.

Shouldn't there be structures there

To which cobwebbed memories attached?

I wander the halls,

Candlestick in hand,

Peering into each room

At the vast nothingness,

Knowing that if I stayed in any room,

I might reconstruct that which

Might make the place seem less forlorn.


I swear I hear music in the distance.

Like the monster I lurch toward it,

The stirrings of times more human,

Of thoughts more incarnated,

Drawing out the apparitions of the few

Who stick around to listen?


Who knew the house would be condemned?

Saved once by frenzied appeal,

The chamber doors opened wide

And the claret flowed freely.

What happened to those rooms

Emptied and left bereft?

I wander the halls,

Steel cold wrench in hand,

Peering into each room

At the venting firmly in place,

Dense metal letting out thumps

When the furnace down below

Occasionally cranks up the air

Not regular enough to foretell.


I swear I smell the fragrancy

Of scents loosely from my past.

What should be stank or stench

Or the stuffy, stifling air of disuse

Beckons me and intoxicates me

As the beast ambles to some kind of peace.


Will the house fall down around me

If I never leave these rooms?

Will the loneliness define me

Or remind me of the spirit

That never could quite abandon me?

I will wander the halls

Weapons of restoration in hand,

Peering into each room,

Estimating the effort needed there.

Some paint, some rugs,

Something hidden that I love

Could make dissolution preferred:

Chosen not forced by the neglect

Accumulated through the years.


I swear I see lines scratched into the wainscot,

Short bursts metered out

By others feared forgotten.

I could lug my bed up here,

Wrap my facile thoughts all around me,

And settle down for years.