SHAME

So how would you translate “Dommage”?

The town is closed, remorselessly.

Only the tourists arrive. Erroneously migrating birds

Landing on a mirage,

They go to roost among gargoyles

Because the quays refuse

To open up their mouldering lids

For these illiterate hordes.

x

And yet there is a poetry to closure.

The flaneur goes on the scavenge for

Retreating paradigms of being away while summer’s here:

The dried leaves that loiter by the roots

Of planes inured to eczema,

The nuclear family groups

Hinting at abusive subterfugesx

Back in mid-Western suburbia.

x

Aren’t the daughter’s hot-pants far

Too brief for her to sit like that on her father?

Aren’t the son’s cascading curls

Pre-Raphaelite? How faraway the mother.

Idlers eye what these can’t camouflage.

They constitute the sights

Now, while the town is dead, removed, away,

All its shops on holiday.

x

Diamond anniversaries go by,

Hand in withered hand, on their way

To Burger King, out-burghering Rodin.

Still, Parisian sphinxes spout

The lie that the town is alive

Or just about to wake up.

Mouths of granite spew this out,

Their rhapsody absurd.

x

Anciently in Vogue,

Audrey Hepburn gets the final word.

“Make-up can only

Make you look pretty on the outside,

But it won’t help

If you’re ugly on the inside,

Unless you swallow the make-up.”

x

Paris, August, 2018

About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.