It Is What It Never Was, Riverview Hospital, Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

It Is What It Never Was

In these hallways
I’ve created oh-so-many worlds
For the dream factory
To film its stories

Police stations
And hospitals
Apartment buildings
And condemned spaces
Secret headquarters
And schools of magic

I’ve dressed them up
And knocked them down


The light of goodness
The darkness of evil
And all the brilliant colours
Of neither here
Nor there

But in all these many years
Not once has this space played
Its true nature
As history played out
For a century of despair

Because Hollywood
Does not like to tell
Stories of tragedy
Unless good
Ultimately triumphs
And evil
Is vanquished

Or unless
Tragedy is served up
As comedy

None of these outcomes
Were plausible
In the halls
Of the insane
And their patients

Halls of Despair
Riverview Mental Hospital (1904-2012)
British Columbia, Canada

On location for The Magicians, 2016

The plan is to develop a series of poems and images inspired by a photograph I shot in the halls of Riverview Mental Hospital, while on location filming The Magicians. Sometimes, as with this image, I’ll have some words in mind and try to find a way to make the original image fit the words. Other times, as with Corridor Dreaming, I’ll play around with the image to create something new from it, and then see what words come.

I think this’ll be fun. =)

I’m calling this series Variations on a Hallway.