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About this poet

Fred Marchant is the author of four poetry collections: The Looking House (Graywolf Press, 2009); House on Water, House in Air (Dedalus Press, 2002); Full Moon Boat (Graywolf Press, 2000); and Tipping Point (The Word Works, 1993), winner of the 1993 Washington Prize. His honors also include a Commemoration Medal for the Advancement of the Arts and Literature in Vietnam. He is professor emeritus of English at Suffolk University.

The Drum Room

The door you come through slams shut before the door you go to opens.
A last stopping place, a once-over from the guard behind his tinted glass.
Your pockets are empty, wristwatch in the locker, with wallet and change. 
Two pens, a notebook, a wish to act normal, and show you threaten no one. 
It is completely true that you threaten no one. 
Nonetheless you feel either you are in danger, or that you are the danger. 
It is a retort designed not to contain, but open and shut like a valve. 
A space between entrance and egress, pressure and release. 
A moment of pure supplication, a revelation of true marrow and meaning: 
hiatus: opening, rupture, fissure, gap.
A room close to nothing, the reinforced shell of its nothing.
Who here cannot help but think of a plump fly bumping against a window?	
A fly who believes something will give. Something does.  
A buzzer, then juice through the wire, and the latches slide in, slide out.

From Looking House by Fred Marchant. Copyright © 2009 by Fred Marchant. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.

From Looking House by Fred Marchant. Copyright © 2009 by Fred Marchant. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.

Fred Marchant

Fred Marchant is the author of four poetry collections: The Looking House (Graywolf Press, 2009); House on Water, House in Air (Dedalus Press, 2002); Full Moon Boat (Graywolf Press, 2000); and Tipping Point (The Word Works, 1993).