Friday, February 24, 2012

Notes from a Heart of Vagrant Longing

Twenty below
and Ruth walks downtown
hands in pockets, hat tight
over her ears, no scarf.
The light from Julio's
draws her up the stairs to the bar
and there he is on the right,
brooding alone at a corner table.
On the left Ruth's friends laugh,
chew poems and stories, wave her over.
She chooses him, dark in the corner
of some alcohol soaked drama.

She drinks coffee
and peppermint schnapps,
the sweet warming her near
frozen bones.
He leads a verbal waltz--
mellifluous words,
Shakespearean tenor
evoking the Italy he loves. Heat,
the complaint of cats around the fountain,
the cooing of pigeons, old women in black,
kerchief bound hair.
She follows, awkward, confused,
awed in the breath
of his brilliance. Envisions
his coming fame, embers
burst into flame.

But his words falter and freeze,
his novel dissolves.
He totals his car
dries out for a month,
flies alone to Milan.
While Ruth
more Sheridan than Shakespeare,
types on.


Annie said...


Beautiful! My favorite line:
"He leads a verbal waltz"

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think we have all done that dance before. Beautifully written. It sounds much more romantic than it was.

Katiejane said...

Well, this is interesting. I want to know more, but then, I always want to know 'what happened next' when a story ends. Lovey stringing together of words.

Robin said...

I felt like I was watching a great (but very sad) film! You could make a fabulous screenplay from this poem!

It is truly have the ability to capture so many moods with a minimum of words.
I immediately saw the couple, the friends, the room....


*The Working Girl*

♥ R ♥

Lynn said...

Such sad characters...the word mellifluous took me back to a time when a male client used it regarding my voice (I'd never heard it before); but when I came to understand it I felt so flattered. Your use of it here took me back to that moment in time.

I just love your stories you post here.

~Babs said...

Like Ruth, I am glad to be out of the freezing weather and in Julios's.
And of course she was drawn to the "alcohol soaked drama",,she always loves outlaw types. And of course he flew to Milan alone, Don't they always?
I love this Suki.Your poetry always puts us right there, in the moment.
Brings to mind some song lyrics:
"sadly in search of, but one step in back of,
himself, and his slow movin' dreams".
Question: Sheridan.

sukipoet said...

Sheridan wrote the play A School for Scandal and influenced Oscar Wilde's dramas. Comedy of Manners.

sukipoet said...

Babs, I had a line sort of like "dont they always" in an earlier draft LOL

~Babs said...

Thanks re: sheridan. wasn't sure if you meant the playright, or the general, but figured the general didn't quite fit the story like playright does.

"don't they always',,,,it would have been good, LOL, but I love it just the way you wrote it too.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

The best....each lines moves beautifully into the next. Beautifully done Suki!

Umā said...

"She chooses him, dark in the corner
of some alcohol soaked drama..." wonderful.

ZenDotStudio said...

as always very evocative. I can see the little scene, the longing, the troubled ending, written in the first glance. Lovely!

kimmie said...

For some reason I felt very satisfied when he totaled his car ... And she types on ... Good story

Teri Casper said...

Beautiful Suki!

Mim said...

Wow. The story of a life and choices is a few sentences. Amazing

KAT said...

sad ending broke my heart