Saturday, October 10, 2015

Phantom Viewing




Phantom Viewing
a decastich





You see me but you don't want to feel me.
I should be the print of an Old Master, full of demanding
perspective, or views from a cabin window:

something pretty
and easy to leave.

But perhaps there's a wolf in the clearing,
a skull in the lady's silk-folded lap,
and what's that barely noticed
in the corner of the prosecutor's photo,
so bright a red behind the blowing yellow leaves?






 ~October 2015








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Images: Briarmaid, © joyannjones 2013
Unknown Female Portrait, by Julius Leblanc Stewart, public domain via wikiart.org



18 comments:

  1. You see me but don't want to feel me...

    I love that opening line because it encourages the imagination to consider multiple possible scenarios. I like that the interpretation could be literal as well as figurative, and rather like to read this as written from the perspective of one of those ghostly images captured in a bad photo - an ectoplasm pleading for recognition.

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    1. Thank you Kerry--I like that interpretation, and that top photo certainly has an ectoplasmic aura. ;_)

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  2. I really love where you left me at the end of the poem, the red on the prosecutor's photo.. I see it as that darkness lurking.. just like that skull in the lap of the lady.. Even when pretty, it's never more than a delusion is it?

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  3. A wonderful piece, weaving through various complexities. Well done.

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  4. I enjoy the way you chose to break this up...the couplet stands out poignantly between the other two stanzas...

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  5. Sometimes, the things we recall most clearly are like this--not so pretty or easy to leave. A beautifully penned piece--

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  6. Boy you've said a mouthful with your first line "you see me but you don't want to feel me" a grand piece in very few lines. Bravo!

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  7. Outstanding, Hedge. Truly. This leads you gently by the hand with a periodic slap in the face by totally fresh, unexpected imagery. I really like this.

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  8. Interesting. An illusion or a delusion. I like it.

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  9. An eerie dive into the dark side of what seems beautiful. Like a reminder, a warning.

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  10. Ooh, lovely and spooky! I know the red is blood, and the voice that of the phantom in the title.

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  11. Oh yes. I read this fleetingly yesterday after a nap and before jotting a few first lines, emotively connected to the central (or distaff) vibration here: That what haunts is what's akew and placed weirdly or juxtaposed or simply photobombs frame from the margin. Just a prick of phosphor and it enrapts the attention. And then there's the layer of love and abandonment--a jilted memory returns to haunt--which is juxtaposed well with lead and end pic. And then the three-deep layer of unresolved crime, refusing to be forgot. Lotta weird in 10 lines, H, great stuff. (PS we watched "Blue Velvet" last night, first time for me since I saw it in the theater 30 years ago, and the purposeful straying and slowing and skewing of detail showed why the nightmare is the soul's true masterpiece.

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    1. Gosh, Blue Velvet--haven't thought of that one in many moons, a truly disturbing, well-conceived and strange film. Thanks for the spot-on comments, B. The virtue of short poetrywhen it escapes its many vices) is that it can be the most alluringly ambiguous of all.Sort of like that school of painting...what is it called??? magical realism...

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  12. A very intriguing write and it leaves me wondering what is that we really see ( or don't want to see) in the photo ~

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  13. I find this oddly sensual, with the colors and the silk, but of course, there are wolves and prosecutors involved, too. I think I trust the phantom more than any of them.

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  14. Hey Joy--the opening is so wonderful--to me, the poem feels as much about guilt as anything--that may not be the right word--but I feel like there is so much one does not want to feel responsible for, and yet is part of our world--the only way that a sense of responsibility can come (it seems) is with a sense of implied threat--you certainly have implied that here. Very well stitched together. Thanks. k.

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  15. Oh so well done - my imagination is running wild!
    Anna :o]
    PS Apologies for the short response - tis nearly 02:30 and my mind is telling me to go to bed...!

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