Poets Walk: "many mirrors"

Poets Walk: "many mirrors"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 88


beware : do not read this poem by Ishmael Reed


tonite  ,      thriller was

abt an ol woman    , so vain she

surrounded herself w/

      many mirrors

it got so bad that finally she

locked herself indoors & her

whole life became the

      mirrors

one day the villagers broke

into her house    ,      but she was too

swift for them    .        she disappeared

      into a mirror

each tenant who bought the house

after that    ,      lost a loved one to

      the ol woman in the mirror :

      first a little girl

      then a young woman

      then the young woman/s husband

the hunger of this poem is legendary

it has taken many victims

back off from this poem

it has drawn in yr feet

back off from this poem

it has drawn in yr legs

back off from this poem

it is a greedy mirror

you are into this poem          from

      the waist down

nobody can hear you can they    ?

this poem has had you up to here

      belch

this poem aint got no manners

you cant call out frm this poem

relax now & go w/ this poem

move & roll on to this poem

do not resist this poem

this poem has yr eyes

this poem has his head

this poem has his arms

this poem has his fingers

this poem has his fingertips

this poem is the reader & the

reader this poem

   statistic    :      the us bureau of missing persons reports

                              that in 1968 over 100,000 people disappeared

                              leaving no solid clues

                                              nor trace        only

              a space                  in the lives of their friends


Ishmael Reed, "beware : do not read this poem" from New and Collected Poems 1964-2006 (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006). Copyright © 1988, 2000, 2006 by Ishmael Reed. Reprinted by permission of Lowenstein Associates, Inc.