Poetry Sunday: Fictional Characters by Danusha Laméris

I came across this poem last week by a poet I had never heard of and I just sort of fell in love with it. I love the image of fictional characters getting fed up with the stories they have been written into and stepping out, "roaming the city streets rain falling on their phantasmal shoulders." 

And wouldn't we all at times love to step out of the story we are living and leave it all behind...
all its heat and toil nothing but a tale
resting in the hands of a stranger,
the sidewalk ahead wet and glistening.
Fictional Characters
by Danusha Laméris
Do they ever want to escape?
Climb out of the white pages
and enter our world?
Holden Caulfield slipping in the movie theater
to catch the two o’clock
Anna Karenina sitting in a diner,
reading the paper as the waitress
serves up a cheeseburger.
Even Hector, on break from the Iliad,
takes a stroll through the park,
admires the tulips.
Maybe they grew tired
of the author’s mind,
all its twists and turns.
Or were finally weary
of stumbling around Pamplona,
a bottle in each fist,
eating lotuses on the banks of the Nile.
For others, it was just too hot
in the small California town
where they’d been written into
a lifetime of plowing fields.
Whatever the reason,
here they are, roaming the city streets
rain falling on their phantasmal shoulders.
Wouldn’t you, if you could?
Step out of your own story,
to lean against a doorway
of the Five & Dime, sipping your coffee,
your life, somewhere far behind you,
all its heat and toil nothing but a tale
resting in the hands of a stranger,
the sidewalk ahead wet and glistening.


  1. Wonderful stuff! I think I shall refuse to be myself today and just step out of my routine. I reject David for a day! Well, maybe until Miriam gets up anyway!

  2. I certainly felt this way in my younger years. I went off to a college far from home, determined to reinvent myself in a place where no one had known me before. So I do relate to that. Somehow, I guess I pulled it off without losing my family in the process. These days, I mostly like my story.

    1. I think most of us have had times in our lives when we wanted to step out of the narrative we were living. As you say, some of us were able to pull it off.

  3. Love this! I would totally step out of my own life into something else any day of the week!


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