Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Poetry Bus: Art Appreciation

This week's poetry prompt comes from Kate of the Emerging Writers blog.
One of the prompt choices was  L'esprit d'escalier. This is a French term I've run into before. It means "the spirit of the staircase", but really it's the moment you think of the Crushing Comment that you would have made, except the moment is gone already. (Oh! I should have said that!) but too late.

So, poor Grandma. She's in for another poetic slam today. However, she was also a fun lady much of the time. This is not a revenge poem--it's the Esprit d' Escalier. No going back to fix this one.

you have to have a man for this

Amid a trendy traffic, my cousin Angel admires
Lichtenstein’s Pop: triadic blue, red and yellow.
We live by design: me in fashion, and Angel, graphics.
Grandmother’s pleased we have such passions. She’s
With us too, and fairly doting. We’re all dressed up
And later lunching: just us girls. Grandma was
Past president of this museum’s Guild. Art is not
The thing that drives her, but without what social
Ladies willed, this building would be dust and stone
So she also feels just right at home.

I’m beguiled by Angel’s exposition, but Grandma’s
Worried over Angel’s dating. And just to take this past the top
Angel broke up with grandma’s pool-boy lately, and this
Is none of Grandma’s business. But in front of comic paintings
Begins a maternal inquisition. When will you marry, Angel darling?
There are men all over as you can see. How about that
Handsome fellow? Now there’s a work of living art.

Her voice has always carried well, and
Angel’s always been so shy. She turns bright red.
The man selected turns his head. He’s standing
In a group of gay. So much for this
Artistic day. If Grandma’s voice is loud enough, her whisper
Carries in the crowd: All you have to do is try.
Angel is about to cry. I intervene:
Grandmother. And she says, What? I only want her
To have a life. It’s so much better as someone’s wife. Angel flees
Under the attack. I glare and say I’ll be right back.

That night, I am still seeing red. Right before we go to bed,
My husband says, You should have laughed
Said you and Angel would find some cuffs
So Grandmother could get her stuff.  
Then you and Angel could enjoy the art
And Grandmother some lesser part. 


Emerging Writer said...

Welcome on board. This paints a very visual picture. I'd like to have been a fly on the wall!

Louise said...

Grandma sounds like she might not have been a great listener eitherway, but it is always good to think on what one might have said. Repeating it over and over in your head, brings some level of satisfaction I have sadly found, as usually I only think of my best lines well after the event!!

Cool poem!

Helen said...

Ditto! You have described these characters beautifully! A great little story. Funny and clever!

(down with zombies!)

suz said...

Grandma is so vivid! I love it!

Bob G. said...

I found it intriguing...but I am NOT "having a man"...I'll stick w/ the ladies, ok?
(my gate doesn't swing that way...sorry)

Wonderfully descriptive...got the mind's eye sighted in well.

Good post.

The Bug said...

Poor Angel - I've always wondered why people don't "get" that they're embarrassing someone (or maybe they do & that's the point). However, the older I get the more I can see me becoming that person - since the things that embarrass me are getting fewer & fewer...

The Observer said...

Ann T:
LOL'ed at the end--hope I was supposed to!

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear Emerging Writer,
Thanks for a challenging prompt! It was quite the stretch, and that's a good thing.

Ann T.

Ann T. said...

Dear 120 Socks,
Oh, for sure! The best comments come afterward, when we are at leisure to marshall the words.

My husband was always suggesting humor over steam . . . I loved that man!

Ann T.