Monday, April 11, 2011

smile when you are ready



Say anything, invent an excuse;
drag them out of the conversation pit,
haul their coats from the bed. Gather up
the unfinished wine glasses
and crushed napkins.

Trade my rhinestones for the lenses
of Spinoza, mecca of the eternal yes,
whose facets reflect the sweetest looks,
the most tender truths, the familiar
restored to proper strangeness.

The night is a shiny stone; standing close,
our toes try not to dream of climbing.
Is this Dali's sofa?

Then it must be your lips.





Tess Kincaid
April 2011




Last week, my fortune cookie read, "Smile when you are ready".  I couldn't wait to use it in a poem. Don't you love when special words and phrases fall in your lap, seemingly out of nowhere?  Well, it's not exactly out of nowhere, for me, since I don't believe in coincidence. 

If you would like to read more on Baruch Spinoza and his lenses, click here.

Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.
Baruch Spinoza

82 comments:

  1. Cro, I love Dali's sofa. Brilliant. I just incorporated it! xx

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  2. beauty...and i love the ending :)

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  3. Ha! Lovely! I saw a depressing German film the other day when the hostess pulled a knife on her guest in the kitchen stating "Pretend you're sick and get out of here"

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  4. Cool poem TK - the last line is great.

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  5. excellent poem Tess. I particularly liked the 'mecca of the eternal yes'

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  6. Okay, I was ready to tell you I loved line "mecca to eternal yes"...then "Dali's sofa". but truthful the whole poem is exquisite!

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  7. Beautiful metaphor, Tess!

    ~laurie

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  8. Wonderful clever write!!
    What would you say to the ones who self- invite but never invite you..?

    Hugs x

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  9. Guests linger at the Manor, I would guess!

    Love, love the ending.

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  10. Smile when you are ready....hummmmm.....could mean so many things.

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  11. Some guests never know when it's time to leave... :)

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  12. I love it - all that nice antisipation during the evening, waiting for that particular smile :) And I love the reference to Spinoza - sent me off to Wikipedia before I even got down to you link at the bottom.

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  13. "Do not wax indignant" is an amazing sentence. Actually, the word "wax" used in this sense is awesome --

    And so is your poem!

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  14. Your poem is a delight...oh so sensual. I love the quotation as well.

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  15. our toes try not to dream of climbing! surreal and sensual,thanks for the spinoza link

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  16. Wonderful! I love "Smile when you are ready!"

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  17. Thanks, Tess, for the poem and for Spinoza! One of those things you always mean to look up....now that I do, I find that rarity, a philosopher who makes some sense regarding higher matters. So glad I popped you in the Reader thing! You are not only a pleasure but an education; and thanks again.

    Peter G.

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  18. The purest whimsey, and yet
    there is heartspeak and sexuality
    mixed into the mire. Love the line
    /the night is a shiny stone/.
    I also appreciate your brevity,
    for it seems difficult for me to
    keep my poems to one page.
    Mentor and Muse ye be.

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  19. Oh, I love this! One of the best I've read in a long while - mecca of the eternal yes;
    the familiar restored to proper strangeness;
    standing close, our toes try not to dream of climbing.

    Sensuous. And did someone say, exquisite? Yes!

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  20. Cleverly done and I love the ending!

    Take Care!
    Marinela

    Short Poems

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  21. Everything about this is amazing, and yes, I agree with "Dali's sofa"!! What a wonderfully clever piece!! It's like wrapping your imagination around layer after layer of sensuality and romance. Wow ... I love it!

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  22. I read this three times because I felt like there were so many deep levels of meaning here. And every time, I just loved the opening words:

    "Say anything, invent an excuse;drag them out of the conversation pit, haul their coats from the bed. Gather up the unfinished wine glasses and crushed napkins."

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  23. Oops! How many times have I been dragged out of the 'conversation pit'? Nice one, Tess.

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  24. Hi! Willow...
    Your poetry(poem) "Smile When You Are Ready" is lovely!
    Thanks, for sharing link too!
    DeeDee ;-D

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  25. ah yes- we were on the same wave length in a way....loved your poem!

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  26. Yeap great line, great title, great poem!

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  27. How do you do that? How do you make something so extraordinary out of a handful of ordinary words? I am in awe.

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  28. There are just certain moments that defy description. I would have said this is one of them...until I read this. Wonderful. Vb

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  29. "The familiar restored to proper strangeness" is something to ponder; simple words that ring surprisingly true. Thanks for a good prompt Tess. I enjoyed the magpie writing. And I like your new heading!

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  30. TESS! Having never the pleasure of sitting on a Dali "Lip-Sofa" (Is that what you do with it? Sit on it?)I cannot comment validly on that.

    But I CAN tell you, I try often to "restore the familiar to proper strangeness". And life becomes, or continues being, an exciting adventure.
    (But I never gave this behavior a description--words which seemingly you so easily dispense to us Peeps!

    Thank you!
    PEACE!
    Ahhhh! Those "Mae West" lips--grin!

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  31. my favorite and would take the Spinoza lenses...love that reference...great images throughout...bkm

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  32. This is great. The words right there to be used… They seem to come when they are needed. Too many of mine disappear when I become fully awake.

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  33. Knowing when to use them - your great secret! Lovely piece! Dali's sofa is superb.

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  34. "the familiar restored to proper strangeness." Dali would be proud. And I'm smiling because there is so much that I love about this. Thank you.

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  35. Nice piece, love the imagery found throughout this poem. and Dali's sofa, loved it.

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  36. love love the last two lines.. i am in a film noir atmosphere.

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  37. Ah Tess, you blindfold us, lead us around in circles to throw us off the scent, bombard us with Wikipedian images, and then take us where you want to. We are captivated, of course.

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  38. I agree about the special words that come to us..I too can't let them go..don't stop what you're doing!!

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  39. I feel as if I am there. Or better for you putting on my coat and leaving! unique images.

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  40. ps interesting mary poppins header

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  41. Very surreal .. Daliesque.. And I loved the photo this time Tess.. might write a poem too on..

    Here is my Magpie.

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  42. Nice Flow TK.

    Blessings to Willow Manor.

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  43. Amazing, I know Spinoza always have to go back and check him out though. I now need to look up Dali's sofa. Must be a shrink. LOL
    QMM

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  44. I haven't read all of your work, but, this is my favorite.

    Just magical. : )

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  45. Thank you for this, I really enjoyed. I have seen Dali's sofa in the theatre museum Figueres (I am a big fan of his work)... brilliant ending.

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  46. Tess - sheer and utter brilliance. Love it :)

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  47. Your genius is in creating a need for us to know more, to search for more ...

    .. now I'm hoping I don't have to worry about being chased out of the Manor at the Willow Ball this year!

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  48. this is beautiful willow...particularly the close, the sofa the lips...so intimate...

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  49. Hi Tess! Ah! The luxury of finally being alone at last with one's lover! Love this poem with unusual figurative language that evokes so many other worlds. The night is a shiny stone... I love this. I had to look up Dali's sofa--so clever! Must be your lips. Spinoza seemed so humble--a lens maker and rationalist philosopher. I particularly liked how you read your poem: professional, uninflected. xxox

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  50. I love pouty plump wine'd "sofa" lips -- everywhere... nice piece Tess...

    ...rob
    Image & Verse

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  51. This is gorgeous, Tess. Only you could have pierced the image in this manner and come out with this nugget. I especially love:


    Trade my rhinestones for the lenses
    of Spinoza, mecca of the eternal yes,
    whose facets reflect the sweetest looks,
    the most tender truths, the familiar
    restored to proper strangeness.


    Mecca of the eternal yes would be a startling and compelling title for a collection one day...xxxj

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  52. Love the enchanting discord in the image of the night being both shiny and stone! It simpers well to a Dali kind of sofa! A beautiful dance of images!

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  53. Lovely, brilliant, inspired poetry. This is well crafted.

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  54. "proper strangeness" Great!

    And I adore the last line!

    I also love to hear the poet reading her own words. I have been thinking about putting a reading or two on my blog. I think you have encouraged me!

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  55. our toes try not to dream of climbing.

    Isn't that so wickedly enchanting?

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  56. Btw, you are becoming more and more like Mary Poppins aren't you? Pulling out neat treats from your blog of tricks?

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  57. Oh this is sweet. I was smiling "mecca of the eternal yes" and beaming at "it must be your lips." I'm ready. - Bredan

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  58. Love this!!! "The night is a shiny stone; standing close,
    our toes try not to dream of climbing."...the whole poem, but especially that line Tess!

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  59. lol.....u have captured what i have dreamt of so often....

    i dont like to keep that smile waiting...

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  60. excellent poem with nice metaphor

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  61. Ahhh, all the coats used to go on Gram's bed. Thanks for the reminder of those big family parties.

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  62. A nice take on the prompt, Tess, and a lovely reading. :-)

    Just wanted to add, thank you for dropping by my blog and commenting on my Mag.

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  63. I love how you tied in the fortune you received with the picture! Nicely done!!!

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  64. Excellent flow, word choices, all that. Fun stuff.

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  65. I love this, Tess. Your words fill my soul. Thanks for sharing.

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  66. very beautiful, Willow! the ending especially!

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  67. Lovely work, Tess.
    THe best tip I ever heard for hastening the guests on their way is . . get the little thermometer out of the First Aid kit and take your temperature every few minutes.

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  68. Adore those words: Smile when you
    are ready as well as the night
    is a shiny stone.

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  69. Your use of words is always brilliant Tess!! I love fortune cookies...I once got one that said..."don't kiss an elephant on the lips today"....but i love "smile when you are ready"!! :-)

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  70. very masterful piece.
    the last two lines are eloquent.

    :)

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  71. beautiful write…

    Invite you to join poets rally week 42 by sharing a free verse today.

    You will love the encouragements you get once you are in and make commitment.

    Your poetry rocks!

    awards for you! Pick two of your choices!


    Hope to see you in!
    Have A Blessed Easter!
    xxx

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  72. I love this poem. Spinoza and Dali are two of my favourites. Excellent poem.

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