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Earl M. Coleman - Quotidian Adventure Serial Part Ten - Callaloo 26:1 Callaloo 26.1 (2003) 128

Quotidian Adventure Serial Part Ten

Earl Coleman

We're in a Grade B thriller in this misty dusk, a snap-brim hat upon a table lighted by a naked bulb; outside a fine rain that had lasted through the day, and just now quit, a bus stop with a haloed sulfur light that uglifies the nitrous bluish-black advancing night, a soldier's jackboots pounding down our narrow street of dreams through tunnels to our nightmare cul de sacs, where we shall follow them to oily waste that laps against the banks, cut-laced together in our inner sight, with that recurrent snap-brim hat now following behind, and suddenly a trenchcoat and a broad-beamed back, and we are hunted and we're spies, and in split seconds we are prey, and threading through a maze, a sense of something huge at stake, perhaps ourselves, our safety, some defining circumstance that's out of whack, that's set to rock our world, and we are powerless to alter anything, although we are protagonists and denouement is ours, and yet the tolling bell from somewhere right, the hat, remind us that this mystery has life beyond our powers to deny and there's no force at hand that can deliver us, until a strobe of light offstage dissolves the scene and forces us to open eyes up to the morning sun, which now propels us to one more yet-unexplored new day and we are off to tunnels, sloughing off the dream, along with throngs of densely packed humanity in elevators, trains, the luncheonette, yet each surprisingly alone, indwelling, mute, unique and powerless, and there's this hat again, although some nameless person's wearing it, and we are prey once more, inside our cubicles this time, with circumstances out of whack, with something huge at stake, perhaps ourselves.


Earl Coleman has published poetry and prose in a number of periodicals, including Esquire, Pacific Review, Writers' Review, Nimrod, Atlanta Review, Hawaii Review, and Callaloo. Before turning to writing fulltime ten years ago, he had a lengthy career as a publisher. His first collection A Stubborn Pine in a Stiff Wind was published by Mellen in 2001.

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