Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Prelude to a Villanelle

This is a feint, a line drawing of a dead woman,
Smiling at some party, resurrecting the idea of a smile,
From the lancing blows of unmet strangers in space,
Somewhere below the plastic paradise she lives in.
The photographer, free of malice, has done his best to hurt,
With his unconcern, his rough and airy way of posing,
These nervous girls - he’d be on a list in these days,
But mid-century it’s just the way things always are.

This is the peak for The New American Female, the elite,
Of New England, posed for ever on the cartoon walls,
In the hothouse of insincerity, a magazine with sparks,
Made in the strain of long vowels and empty kisses.
Somewhere in the greenhouse, a future governor lounges,
Compact like a sidearm, ready for the call to edit,
Levelled dream-to-dream with senators and scientists,
Prepared for battle in the powder of a New York Summer.

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