Sunday, March 10, 2013

Georgia

She first noticed Antonio when he stepped out of a mob,
holding roses for her;
a bloom for every head in the rabble.

She took him on--
her personal little rooster.
He made love to her as if in timelapse--
an ardent insect skittering adoringly along her body.
She could have kept him in a jar, or a desk drawer.

The war came, then.
The sun went off-kilter, tilting drunkenly into the further reaches of the canals.
What use, anymore, for filmmakers
or their gaudy chattering treasures wearing ridiculous gowns,
smiling automatically at the invading armies?

Her last film was a dark comedy
released with subtitles and smuggled to the West
only to languish in a storage locker,
unwatched,
as round and unheeded as the lessons of history
in its circular tin container.

Her rooster was never meant for difficult times,
and he became tubercular--
within a month, he drifted through the bedroom curtains like a ghost,
and took to living with a flock of crows
as their underling,
but yet, he was flying, wasn't he?

She missed Antonio
and the competition of auditions and readings.
Feeling bitchy and out of sorts, she joined the underground.
Wearing berets and trench coats, they taught her to handle a rifle
and to shoot fat-faced officials through the heart.
It was her ingenue days all over again.

Antonio and the now-faded diva met again after the war,
on a single occasion,
at a hotel in Suwanee, Georgia.
She ordered gin through a heavy accent,
and he flipped his good wing, tiredly.
After a silence, they both spoke at once--
"Do you remember..." they began, and then laughed.

It was, by then, the only thing to say,
and it was enough.
_______

19 comments:

Brian Miller said...

what a cool story...two rather lost people finding their way...and remember when...sometimes that is all need be said to remember the good old days...and that it only happened once again...doesnt surprise me either because thinking too much on those days can be a little painful in the present...very nicely told shay...

Margaret said...

Suwanee (love the sound of that)

The last four lines are killer! I feel like I just read a novel.

Sioux said...

I think everyone has at least one person--from their wild, younger days--who could be asked, "Do you remember?" and that's all that would be necessary to bring back a flood of memories.

TexWisGirl said...

now-faded diva. *sigh* :)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love his tired flip of the wing, and the shared laughter. Love it.

Mr Puddy said...

he drifted through the bedroom curtains like a ghost ?
I guess he did tip toes...MOL

ND Mitchell said...

Brilliant story-telling. Had me rivetted.

Lynn said...

Suwannee - that's where the Atlanta Falcons have their training camp. A beautifully named area, for sure. Love your poem, FB.

HermanTurnip said...

This was great! So, when is the movie version of this piece due for release? I'd pay matinee prices to watch it. Fantastic job!

Mixi said...

A story spanning ages and emotions and entire periods of life and history and people and love and war - and not in the least bit bulky or overly verbose. This needed skill!

Everything stood out on its own - the love affair, the strong heroine, the wavering hero, the war, the Underground, the wistful reminiscence of days gone by, the change in an entire era between the past and the present...

Loved every bit of it. Epic!

Poet Laundry said...

This is like a loaded baked potato. It has everything on it, and like Margaret, I feel as if I've read an entire novel. In fact, I think I would like to read a novel penned by you.

cindy tyrrell said...

Reminded me of a fading silent film actress from (Germany?) moving into the time of WWII.

Daryl said...

feel full, satisfied .. as if i just finished a good book

daisy said...

I love it! Especially the ending couplet, and these lines:

"He made love to her as if in timelapse"

"The sun went off-kilter, tilting drunkenly into the further reaches"

"What use, anymore, for filmmakers
or their gaudy chattering treasures wearing ridiculous gowns,
smiling automatically at the invading armies?"

the description of the film container

"Feeling bitchy and out of sorts, she joined the underground." (probably my favorite line)

"It was her ingenue days all over again." (Ha!)

"at a hotel in Suwanee, Georgia.
She ordered gin through a heavy accent" (I do love the sound of these words.)

Great poem. :)

Mama Zen said...

Now, THAT'S a story!

Grandmother said...

I liked when the sooting of officials took her back to her ingenue days. Some woman!

manicddaily said...

You manage both mockery and a seriousness that work very well here. k.

Susie Clevenger said...

Somewhere there is someone I wish I could sit down with and ask, "Do you remember?" Loved this novel in such few lines. You never disappoint.

Sara said...

At first I hesitated with this poem, but I read it through and the ending was so worth it.

"It was, by then, the only thing to say,/and it was enough."

Been there; done that...well, not with quite the detail in this poem:~)

I also liked the passage about joining the underground and learning to shoot, especially the line:"It was her ingenue days all over again." LOL