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Tuesday, June 11, 2013


YESterday's  Woman

Yesterday, a man,
a gray-haired man,
cohabitating within an old man’s body rolls in. He
flaunts a Parisian beret fairing a pin of three gold stars 
thrusting up the side of his head.
A man, a thin man, with artist hands, and wire hair
sprouting out from beneath the soft black felt. He sits down.

This man, who I ate a pasta dinner with
yesterday said,
he just wants to paint the perfect unplanned portrait.
This man, with two languid burgundy tubes acting as animated legs stares at me,
and as if out or nowhere says, “As you sit there in that straight back chair,
just as you sit with your hand under your chin--
I would not change a thing about you. No I wouldn’t.
I would paint an impromptu portrait of you, highlighting the red tint in your hair and
capturing the cobalt of your eyes.”
I smile and reply.   “How much is the portrait in the living room?
The one of...
the beautiful young Asian woman lounging on the velvet chaise in the afternoon sun?”
He spoke slowly after sipping red wine. “At a gallery ten thousand, for you I will do half.”

I decline.

I ask him if he was ever married. The golden sign was mockingly absent. 
I don’t know why that question was important.  I gaze at the women’s portraits
hung on spare nails around the mock gallery porch dining room.
He hums with conceit in his breath.
“Three wives- not one lasted. Each woman plateaued.”
His long crooked fingers parted the air between us.
“They each left. Actually I’d say I left them.
 I was bored. They didn’t want to grow anymore.”
 In half his life he is a portrait painter; in the other, he is
a vacuum repair man as his trade for a living.

“I want to paint portraits.”  He says as he lights a joint.
“I want to paint the perfect unplanned portrait.”
His smoky breath exhales to blow out the burning match caught between his finger tips.  
I believe he wants to paint women--
a woman with luxuriously tussled hair, a porcelain face of grace,
the kind of woman you want to kiss, who’s eyes want to kiss you.
The kind of woman that makes you need to
put your parting lips directly onto a taut canvas.
I wonder if the crimson lips he paints might just feel real.
Maybe he can make an unplanned portrait real. Make a real woman real.
I shake my head yes and say to the artist, yes I understand.
dverse -- more poetry to please


  1. Great story-telling, Tracy. The pace is relaxed and I was able to get into the imagery in the lines. Good wrap with the ultra-cool line, "Make a real woman real." Like that.

  2. ha. what a character he the details and felt i was right there with you and him...def the eccentric artist...smiles...and knows how to talk...ha.

  3. Great details, I felt like I was there.

  4. "The kind of woman that makes you need to
    put your parting lips directly onto a taut canvas."

    The poem blooms here for me.

    Thank you for your lovely comment. Made me smile.

  5. Sounds like he doesn't sell many paintings, but he must really clean up in his other job.

  6. Tracy, this is wonderful, I could see this man perfectly.



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