MURAL BY AUGUSTE RENOIR

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, 18th July 2006, 00:00

An Aphrodite generous in anatomical display
(one hand strategically placed) heralded
by clarion conch rises star-trap-wise from
a plethora of brush strokes depicting
white-capped, wind-whisked waves
to overlook the café’s clientele.

Men absinthiated, blind by habitude
to mural chefs d’oeuvre, weary of polemics
and the well-thumbed packs, sit hawk-
vigilant, awaiting new diversions –
Rimbaud’s brutal poetry or Verlaine’s
fractured alexandrine lines: a glimpse
of Proust, top-coated, shawl-wrapped
despite the balmy night, en route to
a soiree musicale or to voyeuristic
study for his epic of lost time – to mingle
with le beau monde, or to his brothel wend.

Windows frame the loitering bonnets.
Girls, the Most Fair’s wanton daughters,
far less frugal of petticoats and ribbon,
trade in lust as a substitute for love,
taint the twilight with lurking couch-becks
redolent of cheap and heady perfume.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.
This work may not be reproduced without prior permission of the author.

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