Old time movies:

Following a murder

In the dark,

(this time with

a blow-dart)

The policeman

Leaps to the stage

Of a crowded

Theater to shout:

“Ladies &

Gentlemen, please

Be seated.

No one is

Allowed to leave.

All exits are blocked.”

One spectator

(usually an older


in a sequined gown

& a diamond tiara

protests: “You

can’t keep us here

against our will!

I know my rights.”)

Charlie Chan,

Played by a Swede,

Says: “Readers

Of this short poem

Are not allowed

To leave either.

All exits are blocked.

You are all

Under suspicion.”

Louis Phillips’ recent poetry publications include The Domain of Silence, The Domain of Absence: New and Selected Poems (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2015), The Domain of Small Mercies: New & Selected Poems ], Volume 2 (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2017), How Wide the Meadow (World Audience Publishers, 2019).

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