Saturday, June 2, 2012

Odalisque

Rashaka Dancer


Odalisque




This striptease of self
dance of seventy veils
works only in a poledancing vacuum
where there’s looking not touching
talking not feeling
and so, sinuous and alive as it appears

to a disordered mind,
is a sterile transaction,
a pastied charade, grimed
as the crumpled bills shoved
in a stripper’s thong,
good for another busride to hell.

And this scrawl
isn’t love
only its black ink breath
sighing out the tired gestures
not of an odalisque but of
a broken dancer.




April~June, 2012

Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub






Shared under a creative commons license

30 comments:

  1. dancing for dollar is hard work you know....esp if that is the only place the buck is coming from...that transfers to a lot of jobs...but entertaining and the spot light definitely...deny the slave monicker though but we all carry it in some way...smiles...

    ReplyDelete
  2. and there are so many broken dancers...think in work life in general...a great image that can be copied and pasted to all different kinds of professions...the dance is a hard one sometimes, you always have to smile and should be passionate about what you're doing...and another dollar note, put in that thong makes you going again for a bit...good work hedge..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Claudia--this is indeed a metaphor, actually for quite a different sort of striptease. Glad you enjoyed.

      Delete
  3. When you put it down to the balance of service and compensation, this is indeed perhaps in a class of one of the most difficult jobs in the world. A difficult subject matter, but treated with equanimity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The sound and song of your words paints the scene so well, the bedraggled existence of a human on display for prurience. Strangely perhaps, I've never been to one of these places, never an inkling to peep or gawk at the display of flesh just a dollar's width away from orgasm. I have known some dancers, andvthe world they lived in was peopled by bikers, gangsters, and drugs. Not a very alluring life, one way or the other it seems to me. Great poem to rake up these concerns.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "This striptease of self
    dance of seventy veils
    works only in a poledancing vacuum"

    i really enjoyed those lines, sets the right mood, such an empty lonely feeling, objectified. very well said

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, you captured the feeling of "going through the motions" so well. So many in their day to day existences feel this "dead-ness"..what a life.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So good- but what a picture you paint- so sterile, loveless, soulless... A broken dancer- I can onlyimagin you would have to be super skilled at numbing yourself from the constant attention of shithrads who think that a dollar bill in a pair of panties is on the same level as a marriage proposal...such great words here hedge?..but then hold on....we are all dancers aren't we? Dancers on life's difficult stage

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think they key line here is the opening one, "a striptease of self". My sense is that this describes not a physical dance, but an emotional one. However, it's not a dance in the sense of two people moving in each other's arms; more, it a peeling of the onion through a glass darkly. For some reason this reminds me of Jethro Tull's song "This Is Not Love."

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the quote at side top of your blog, because it's better tahn what we have.
    You always have a impressive write too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This kind of work would be so draining on so many levels I think. I love these lines:

    "And this scrawl
    isn’t love
    only its black ink breath
    sighing out the tired gestures"

    Great writing as usual, Hedge!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've got to say the first stanza reminded me of the days of night filling at a supermarket... weren't allowed to talk, or create relationships with those we worked along side just fill the shelves and nothing more... all for a dollar...I didn't last long there. No glamour there, as with dancers I guess but what a wonderful metaphor you create.

    ReplyDelete
  12. first, odalisque is one of my favorite words...

    i love this, both literally and metaphorically, it works on so many levels... writing, sharing our words is its own strip tease of sorts, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES!!! That's exactly what I was going for. Thank you for making me feel I hadn't totally screwed it up. ;-)And thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  13. I love the title, and from there on out you have created a rare view of how one's work can become one's character.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fabulous poem, some fantastic lines!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dancing is fascinating! It's an enjoyment and a pastime. To earn one's keep through dancing it would be physically a pure test of strength. There's only one JLo and she combined it with singing and made tons of money! There are countless others left on the wayside!
    Great take,Joy!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wonderful - but, just wondering... how do you stuff the bills into the thong without touching?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously I've never been hands on in this situation, Dave. ;_) You mean they don't politely hand them to the dancers?

      Delete
  17. It looks like fun to the naked eye (that was just wrong!), but I've known ladies who've done it, and it is a rough way to make a living. Some love it, but to most it's just a way to make a living; usually in hopes it will get them to a better place.
    Excellent write on an interesting facet of the prompt.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have those sultans ever appreciated the dance of these guys, and their breaking?

    Good you do, and helps us do it too, HW

    Great sad piece.
    D.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Good lord this is ripe and raw, and you get at this striptease of self examination (?) from an angle I think of too, that it seems more organically appealing than it is, which is just damn hard work. But I argue that it is love, as all attention is, I think, of a sort. I may be off base. Wonderful potent writing, Hedge.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Giving away what seems to be almost too much and yet keeping even more locked away from prying eyes...

    ReplyDelete
  21. i really like the middle stanza a lot very descriptive

    Sonnet 24

    ReplyDelete
  22. Reminds me of that song by The Killers, are we human or are we dancer? Often we are just dancing to somebody elses tune, and we get tired of the same old song and the same old moves, but no matter how we try sometimes the music wont stop and we have to carry on, broken.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ouch.

    And even the tired jobs take our ink, with weariness if not love.

    To me this felt like the world weariness of the dancing bear on the ball, forever moving, but going nowhere:"a sterile transaction" indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ah, the sometimes sterile sharings of our creative souls are intelligently captured here Joy. Brilliant as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm sure this strikes people to the core for different reasons. I know I need to go through my banker boxes and find my divorce papers so I can sleep tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That third stanza is brilliant.

    ReplyDelete

'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg