WE PLAYED HOUSE LIKE MEN by Kaolin Imago Fire

…in the derelict shop, black and yellow
“do not cross” summoned us to play.

Every inch of the wreck was cool, but
the charred remains on the table were best;
we imagined the tortures of hell
in our captured enemy base.

Moonlight shone through the ceiling
on that lone table, and we
interrogated each other for hours,
weaving a blanket of lies
’til the cold of dawn broke
our resolve.

Then we let the ghosts lie, snuck home:
warm beds, breakfasts,

lives not destroyed by loss.



Kaolin Imago Fire is a conglomeration of ideas, side projects, and experiments. Outside of his primary occupation, he also develops computer games, edits Greatest Uncommon Denominator Magazine, and very occasionally teaches computer science. He has had poetry published in Strange Horizons, Every Day Weirdness, and Bull Spec, among others.


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Rating: 1.9/5 (22 votes cast)
WE PLAYED HOUSE LIKE MEN by Kaolin Imago Fire, 1.9 out of 5 based on 22 ratings
Posted on February 23, 2011 in Literary
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  • http://potpourrisachet.blogspot.com/ Roberta Schulberg aka Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Well written, good flow. The subject matter is unusually interesting, much more exciting children’s game than I can remember. I like this poem very much.

  • Vondrakker

    Very inventive imagination.
    Simple clear imagery
    5 slightly charred stars.
    Thank you Kaolin

  • http://EveryDayPoets Art Spelman

    I must say I enjoyed this poem a great deal. Simple, and clear, what is more I like your name, it sings to me…If it is your pen name great, if it your given name, all the better. Nice work Kaolin, by any name the rose would be as sweet. Thank you, I for one will be watching for your next work, Kudos…Art Spelman

  • John Im

    a wise observation : boys play at War in a burned out
    ruin without ‘lives destroyed by loss’. Then they grow
    up and forget that lesson, pushing buttons on computers
    launching Cruise missiles. The title clever “we played
    house like men” I assume means War, destructively.

  • http://rumjhumkbiswas.wordpress.com rumjhum biswas

    Intense. Says a lot more after the poem is read.

  • http://potpourrisachet.blogspot.com/ Roberta Schulberg aka Roberta SchulbergGoro

    I think the “blanket of lies” is the focus.

  • magdalen

    Splendid imagery that conjures an intense scene and then smacks you upside the head with reverse POV on the sense-less-ness of it all as the significance of the title sinks in. Well done!

  • Nancy Wilcox

    :) Am I the only one this awakens nostalgia in? I guess so. Never mind, I like it.

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