Monday, March 28, 2011

tryst
























Twist of herringbone and tie,
guidebook anxious in your grasp,

we wait as charms dangling
in the bracelet of an afternoon queue;

synchronize watches, then pass
like bookends in the Salle des √Čtats.

A tangle of art and lust, our palms
flush, while lonesome eyes chiaroscuro

from canvas-covered walls
and bullet-proof glass,

frozen in Janson History gray,
monochrome, medievally quiet.


Tess Kincaid
March, 2011




To join Magpie Tales creative writing group, click here.

93 comments:

  1. As someone who stood in that afternoon queue, I have to admit that I was surprised that the actual scale of the smile did not match the scale of the hyperbole. I expected something on a grand scale to match the size of the master himself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You saying that poem sounded so theater like with perfect tone n intonation!

    I loved your words Tess.. very well written :D

    Hugs xox

    ReplyDelete
  3. chiaroscuro - thanks for a new word. I had to look this one up. I too was astonished that Mona was as small as she is. The last time I saw her, they had even moved her location. She does get around in those galleries!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I, too, was surprised at the smallness of her canvas, but the smile got to me, up close and personal.

    Nicely done Tess.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think I was in the back row, craning to catch a glimpse, as usual. You have nailed down the experience nicely Tess.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice tension in the contrast of moods.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love that "twist of herringbone and tie" image. This is wonderful. The first time I saw her at the Louvre, I was amazed at how protected against the public she really was--sort of sad, but she's still beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. through bullet proof glass... is it worth the wait I ask?

    re Sourdough... it is most definitely worth starting your own... I have had my pet for nearly a year now and she's done me proud almost every time (except this weekend when quite frankly I should have thrown her from a very high window)

    here's a link to my blog on how to start one (very easy)

    http://belleaukitchen.blogspot.com/2010/09/sourdough-starter-of-new-relationship.html

    good luck and let me know how you get on!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks, Dom, I'll give the sourdough starter a whirl. WT will be one happy man.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Fantastic to be able to hear you speak your poem. Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Something about that smile..it just speaks volumes. Nice imagery, Tess, I can almost see the paintings on the wall.

    ReplyDelete
  12. super artistic and poetic.

    awesome prompt.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Been there, done it, got the paperweight the pencil sharpener the set of playing cards the Lisa in a snowstorm... And the T Shirt.

    Now we have the poem.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The image is always bigger than the image, as it were.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow...what words. I'll have to look up that big one!
    As always...your words are like fine art!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey, Elaine, I had to toss in a word from my old "Janson History of Art" college days.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So breathe-taking and a great vantage point from the observer's POV.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love in the Afternoon-in monochrome. Tryst is delicious, Tess. Twist is such a multi-layered word. Herringbone and tie send a shiver down my spine. All your references carry their weight as lightly as the feather tickling Mona Lisa. Light and shade to perfection in the poem!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this line:
    we wait as charms dangling in the bracelet of an afternoon queue;


    the first time I saw Mona Lisa she wasn't behind any glass as it was 1957. and at that time there were no queues either.
    I was disappointed in her size and was much more impressed by the Winged Victory! But then I was only 15.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love the visual and feel of the "guidebook anxious in your grasp". This so aptly conveys the anticipation we've all felt when waiting in line like this.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I once had a great job making a film for the French Government Tourist Office and they got me entry into the "back stage" area of the Louvre. Great scenes of all the artists and arisans preparing the items for exhibition, etc. Your prompt brought it all back...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wonderful leaves me dreaming of visiting. I love the queue you can do your best people watching while blending. The anticipation, I love the anticipation and sometimes it is not at all what we expect it to me which makes it even better.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I loved how you captured this waiting moment. You never imagine what the scale of these famous pieces will be.
    I hope to see her in person someday!

    ReplyDelete
  24. A really inspired 'mood' poem. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  25. How very clever of you Tess - using the dark and the light to describe the lonely eyes and then bringing Janson in to finish a perfect piece of writing.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Beautiful and thought-provoking...

    ~laurie

    ReplyDelete
  27. aha...pretty as a picture

    ReplyDelete
  28. Each line ~ perfect! My favorites? #1 and #2. I've also stood in that queue ... dangling.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love "we wait as charms dangling
    in the bracelet of an afternoon queue".

    Vivid and sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ah, just loved this. Walked through those halls and canvas-lined rooms. And saw her, too. The imagery and mood here captures just how I felt that day. Fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Beautiful, Tess. So much story in so few, finely-wrought, lines. The whole scene was crystal.

    ReplyDelete
  32. really liked the details, the bullet proof glass, the palms flush...and how it comes to a rest on the last line - medievally quite...a nice touch, and a little sinister!

    ReplyDelete
  33. WOW! Can you ever set a mood, or what! Excellent. Never seen her in person...but it took me back to reading the Divinci Code.

    You are so amazingly talented. Thank you again and again for your photography, your poetry, your talents, your writing, and the opportunity to stretch our creativity with you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Well done! So beautifully said. I was there, right there in Janson History gray, monochrome, and medievally quiet.

    ReplyDelete
  36. She is possibly none other than Rembrandt! Lol. I think the closest we have ever had was the 1950s edition of Marilyn Monroe. Me thinks the Mona Lisa was very much like Marilyn.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Abe, I think you are right. She was the hottie of her time.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "while lonesome eyes chiaroscuro

    from canvas-covered walls
    and bullet-proof glass,"

    love this part!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am another who had to look your words up. I thoroughly enjoyed this ...love 'we wait as charms dangling
    in the bracelet of an afternoon queue'.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Exquisitely shared experience,

    'A tangle of art and lust, our palms flush, while lonesome eyes chiaroscuro
    from canvas-covered walls and bullet-proof glass,
    frozen in Janson History gray, monochrome, medievally quiet.'

    Brilliantly shared!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Beautiful trysting with a twist of herringbone. Yes! As I remember her, she was small and darkly impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  42. So many art lovers and travelers
    in your manor and blog queue!
    I have always read that to see
    her, small as she is, becomes
    much ado about something,
    but size matters.
    Your poetics are delicious,
    so cosmopolitan. I remember you
    telling us your daughter is, or
    was in Paris. When did you have
    this experience? Or is this a
    perfect rendition of imagination
    , research, projection, and
    wishful thinking?

    ReplyDelete
  43. 'we wait as charms dangling in the bracelet'... I feel like this often but never at a tryst!
    Whenever I see the ML, I always wonder what the background means.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Gosh this was good. Here's a confession I had to look up chiaroscuro and Janson's History...so Was not only entertained, but also educated! Thanks, vb

    ReplyDelete
  45. Tess -- Chiaroscuro, I had to look this word up on Wiki. You're keeping me on my toes Tess -- barbara

    ReplyDelete
  46. Do catch a whiff of depravity emanating from the Manor? Oh how sadly fallen!

    ReplyDelete
  47. " we wait as charms dangling
    in the bracelet of an afternoon queue " - i have fallen in love with that line...literally :)

    the right words brought together and they define so well..

    ReplyDelete
  48. Tess, really beautiful!!

    I have a new giveaway I think you will love…from The Zhush!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    ReplyDelete
  49. Seems like the sole purpose of art and music, sculpting, poetry, even God's art--nature, is to lift our minds and hearts to a higher plane, at least above and away from the earthly bindings.

    This is the FIRST time I ever really took note of her/his eyes, so full of, so expressing peace, and honesty. Your poem has encapsulated the museum-goers: "Let's meet back at the ranch for chow...at noon, OK Elmer?" --grin!

    ReplyDelete
  50. know what's funny? i have a picture of it in the louvre. didn't know when i was there that i couldn't take pix, and no one ever said anything when i was taking them. just a bunch of japanese tourists crowded around the painting, quite small and unimpressive. i preferred the renoir...

    ReplyDelete
  51. I loved the Louvre but Mona let me down. Too many people too little intimacy. I needed that medieval quiet to be able to connect. You've captured the experiernce really well. I was there in the old days (1977) when Paris still had horse and cart as their transport system.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Tess, I loved the way you bring out the atmosphere and the whole experience..

    ReplyDelete
  53. There would have been so many expected ways to approach your prompt, so many that would have been "appropriate" in a quietly unadventurous way. But you sneak up on it from an unexpected angle and, of course, are triumphant.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I love the vocabulary in this one... but the word "while" indicates that there is some action to come.

    "Our palms flush While lonesome eyes"... what? Are you using the word "chiaroscuro" as a verb?

    The beginning is wonderful, but the ending sort of loses momentum while trying to figure that out.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Marcheline, yes, action to come. Think tryst. Yes, I used chiaroscuro as a verb, quirky, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Tess, count me as one who had to "look-it-up" and it is now my FAVORITE word: chiaroscuro

    In fact, thinking about it, the frieze of my WHOLE LIFE has been and is one of chiaroscuros (and, having never been 'unique' there must be others! Billions of others?--grin!)

    Did I ever tell you that you ROCK!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Will think of you from now on when I use the word "chiaroscuro"..terrific!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. It's a great word, isn't it? So very Caravaggio. I love to say it whenever I get the chance. It makes me feel so very artistic.

    ReplyDelete
  59. OK! So the Master, the innovator, the man of darkness and light--front and center.

    My FORMER "word" always made me feel good, because I didn't have it, also it was the only--ONLY-- thing I knew which most Peeps did not. Do I detect a smidgeon of Ego?

    pneumonultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis--a lung disease. (and I did not have to look it up for spelling--grin!)

    Secret: Tess, I like YOUR words better!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Steve, are you sure pneumonultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis isn't from Mary Poppins?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Not from Mary Poppins. Then again...NOT sure. Heck, I'm not even sure I'm...what did you call me? Steve?--grin

    Thanks for the morning fun! Tess, you STILL 'rock'!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Bet you 'copied-and-pasted' that word

    ReplyDelete
  63. I love, "we wait as charms dangling in the bracelet of an afternoon queue" - you always have such great word play. I might have to steal that idea - but I'll give you credit :)

    ReplyDelete
  64. "lonesome eyes chiascuro"--love that. It is amazing how so small a painting can have such lasting, powerful effect.
    Poem captures that very well, methinks. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I feel as though I am one of the charms waiting with you. Very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  66. 'In the braclet of an afternoon queue', that is just such a great line, love it.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Poetic and artistic work, enjoyed it :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. This one is wonderfully creative, different, strong!

    The shift from simple charm bracelets (a "lower" art) to the sensuous emotion "palms flush" as moving through the great art of the museum is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  69. very picturesque. and i wonder how many have searched on "Chiaroscuro" today! a new one for me. i too appreciated the "charms dangling." aren't we all?!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Anticipation, yes. I agree with Anthony North on this score. She was smaller than I expected.

    ReplyDelete
  71. nice...i really like that line on charms dancing willow...

    ReplyDelete
  72. the whole poem is like a visit to a fine art gallery...it was an educational and lovely visit...blessings..bkm

    ReplyDelete
  73. Wonderful visit to the master, thank you for taking me. I've always found Mona rather plain, and her smile rather mousy, but not so your piece here -- well written... :)

    ReplyDelete
  74. Rather enjoyed the artistry and craft in this placing of words Tess, also enjoyed the reading. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  75. Willow,
    You know me; I went but refused to stand in line for half a day to say I'd seen the real thing.
    rel

    ReplyDelete
  76. Love and poetry are so often at odds with each other, but lust and poetry are the happiest of bedmates -- perhaps its the sensuous weave of beauty which charms us utterly from canvas and naked flesh. Here it's all clothed and behind glass and still burns, like brandy from a perfect glass snifter. Which this is ... - Brendan

    ReplyDelete
  77. "...we wait as charms dangling
    in the bracelet of an afternoon queue..." did it for me.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Wonderful metaphors here! I love the images you create!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Ah me! I fear I am too late in the bracelet queue to add much to what has gone before . . .

    ReplyDelete
  80. we wait as charms dangling
    in the bracelet of an afternoon queue;

    You could add me to yours any day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  81. So many beautifully big words in this one Tess....amazing! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  82. Excellent piece - everything works in this.

    ReplyDelete
  83. i felt as if she had me over for tea. i guess since i've grown up in a big city i've developed a skill for getting past the crowds and finding a feel so right spot. her smallness surprised me as well... i had to get quiet, shut out the hustle and bustle of the outside and i was able to get near to her. that smile is something... so full of... 'something.' i guess that's what gets us.

    thanks so much for your thoughtful and beautiful poem... it takes me to places... again.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Loved this and all the art references.
    Great Mag.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Fancy standing in a queue to look at a painting! We have a copy in our smallest room, where visitors can study it at their leisure.
    But you poem here is great, and conveys the mixed emotions very aptly.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I felt as if I had been fortunate to be in that afternoon queue. I love "medievally quiet" and I adore the title!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Dear Tess: Totally relate to Art History class with Professor Hart and;

    "frozen in Janson History gray,
    monochrome, medievally quiet."

    Would give my eyeteeth to see the Mona Lisa! You got to go from the "queue" and the bracelet; so Parisian a feeling...I'm just sayin' YOU WENT TO THE LOUVRE saw the MONA LISA and wrote about it...yes dreams do come true!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Thanks, everyone, for your generous and interesting comments. You are the best readers in the whole blogosphere, my friends. x

    ReplyDelete
  89. I love the Janson Grey. I told my husband about your phrase and he got it. Did you try to use "Sfumato"?

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hazel, makes my heart sing that you got Jansen gray! How did you know I tried sfumato?

    ReplyDelete

Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)