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Blog - Richard Downes

The Coat Hanger Man

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There was this institution. Wasn’t so bad as it happens. Though no one would choose to be there. There was an escape committee. Some of us imagined getting out more than we tried to get out. Me and the coat hanger man were two of those.

Coat Hanger Man

He wasn’t Gordon
He wasn’t Tommy
I confuse them with him sometimes

The coat hanger man

The coat hanger man
Stood tall
Stretched into the wall
A light on his face
A vague silhouette on white walls
Another vain attempt to disappear

The coat hanger man

The coat hanger man
Rigid, Uptight, Erect
Feet to the floor
Failing to lift him skyward
Out of the world
Stratospheric invisibility
I recognised him straight off
Though others doubted he was there

The coathanger man

The coat hanger man
I’d tried his trick myself
Anonymity, a nowhere man
A don’t want to be there man
A don’t want to be seen man
A don’t want to be asked man
I never tried it as a coat hanger

Yes. The cloth
I had it
The hat
It was mine
The brim pulled down
Below the eyes
The can’t see, won’t be seen idea
of the coat hanger man

The coat hanger man

The coat hanger man
Pressed to the walls
Me walking in crowds
Him looking for height
Closeness to the sun
Scorching his removal
Me looking down
Me looking away
No eye contact
Nothing to say
Looking to vanish into the ground
Of cause I’d know the coat hanger man anywhere

The coat hanger man
My opposite
His stillness
My movement
His desire to be lifted
Mine to be lowered
Him looking for tall heights
Me looking to be small

I tried to hide
I failed
I have no idea how he got on
The coat hanger man
Perhaps, he vanished after all
Maybe he made it
Maybe we’re both still inside some how

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