A Poem by James William Dyer

A poem about random thoughts during an interrupted sleep, thoughts about ambition that goes nowhere.


I awoke last night to

      a static applause


   against roof shingles

Felt a crowd of balloons

      squawk and rock together

Bunched together lift at once

      from the square

      of a skyscraper


      in some distant gleaming city

      where perfect angles of highrise glass

      melt the auburn morning

      where the golden sun is smeared.

Cluster of balloons

      inFLATed empty pockets of ambition.

I realize that I'm alone.

And I wish I were in that distant city.

If I could breathe my being into a balloon,

      release the string that ties me to it,

         let it sail through vacant stratosphere

      And settle in the early morning on an empty city street

         where the grit of concrete is just now warming.

The bright blue skin of my balloon dream

       tightens and stretches,

                  fills with nothing,

                             firms with resolution

                      And pops.

A discarded latex skin rumpled in the gutter.

© 2012 James William Dyer

Author's Note

James William Dyer
I wrote this at work, and I can already tell--it needs work.

(I know balloons are not made of latex, but condoms are, and sometimes when I contemplate the ambition inside a person, and how they live up to it, I picture a condom all split open and gross on the concrete, so I thought I'd add that.)

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I personally love the style, the words, the image that's been placed into my head. Balloons have been in many childhoods, but they adults can enjoy them too! Haha. Great work!

Posted 7 Years Ago

you could use rubber instead of latex, it has the same implication in this instance.

Posted 7 Years Ago

first of all...what sidewalks are you walking down that you see condoms split open and gross? *laugh*

What work does it need?? You underestimate your first instinct...if you reshape and rewrite and revamp, you can sometimes make the work sterile...this has a lot of truth in it, and a lot the really great imagery we come to associate with your work. My vote is keep it the way it is. With poetry, the first draft is almost always the can't rewrite the emotions you felt at the time of the initial write, not authentically, anyway...

Just my two cents. I like this a lot.

Posted 7 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on September 28, 2012
Last Updated on September 28, 2012
Tags: ambition, failing, balloons, drifting, nothing, vacant, empty, soulless, loss, somnolescence


James William Dyer
James William Dyer

Bliss, MI

I began writing when I was in the fourth or fifth grade. We were extremely poor and my mother had purchased an old typewriter from a yard sale for me, tired of trying to decipher my mangled handrwitin.. more..