The French Whore Who Would Not Sing

When she opens her unsmiling red painted lips

I expect to hear a song in French

Something sultry, contralto,

“Tu es mon amour,

mon coeur, mon tous,

mon avenir et mon passé.”

But she sings in a nasal soprano

without soul, something modern.

It’s an English faux dirge

Filled with what passes for class

But with its knickers showing,

Pale angst included.

Where’s the usual piano man?

The piano accompaniment is tinny,

The old piano sounding as weak

As a bleached soul molested by strange hands.

Someone I don’t know plays a muted trumpet

and again the music is faded;

A foggy black and white whisper

Compared to the usual bright color.

The young couple next to me is enchanted

By the Orchid Room so maybe it’s just my mood.

They smile the bright luminous smiles

of oblivious and self-absorbed young love.

I bury myself in the music and Brass Monkey

And wait, remembering being young

And in oblivious, self-absorbed love.

I’m waiting for a reason

But it escapes me.

Perhaps I’m waiting for some contralto to sing

Something sultry in French;

“Tu es mon amour,

Mon coeur, mon tous,

Mon avenir et mon passé.”

I have to laugh at myself.

Tonight I am my own illusion,

Sans Absynthe.

Seriously, aren’t we all?

La grande illusion

dans le grand jeu de vie.

None of my friends are here tonight?

The bartender winks and I’m able to smile.

Mamu nods at me knowingly

As the blue smoke, itself an old friend,

swirls its tendrils in the air around me.

When the pale music is quiet

I can hear the hum of familiar voices

Lifting in laughter and conversation

in the back room past the noise of the room

past Mamu’s broad shoulders.

Sweet, deadly Mamu, the human door.

Are they playing at billiards or cards?

Playing in the room of mirrors?

Usually I would join in.

But everyone has their own agenda tonight.

Sitting alone is mine.

Perhaps I am playing the sultry

French whore who would not sing.

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10 Responses

  1. Perfect Orchid Room poetry. The atmosphere, the use of an appropriate musical motif, the connections to the previous pieces, all perfect. And of course the implied characterisation of the narrator, a little cynical, world weary but observant and alive. “Tonight I am my own illusion..” Perfect.

  2. and this is the sort of poetry that made me love poetry again. It is gentle but strong, technically brilliant. You delve into a character until you find their strength, almost like it would be absurd to not recognise it’s there. It leaves you wanting so much more.
    Oh and no, she would never be playing the French whore… she is one hell of a classy lady and not a hint of peroxide, Im sure.
    ‘Filled with what passes for class but with its knickers showing’ *chuckles* my nan always says ‘all fur coat and no knickers’… Mimi this is perfect.

  3. Thank you both. Very encouraging comments that I appreciate. – Mimi.

  4. Perhaps I have come to the wrong place. In my haste to read of past authors, the tendrils of thought that connect one day to the night have escaped as cobwebs do, pursued by autumn’s winds.

    I am filled with doubts now, listening to such a wretched voice, straining to entertain. Blasé stares fixed on times beyond recall, when life was pursuit and stakes thrown down meant little in harsh dawn. I see now, too late, that what is here is not for the timid.

    Even with knickers, lace edged and damp crotch, she could not sing to raise the passions of limp souls. Exchange one for the other, service of lips and limbs, flat staccato of grunts, ceiling fan whirling, faint praise of the damned. Perhaps next time, with a clearer head, I’ll be able to express my feelings; for now, the door beckons.

    If, I can find it.

    Rose

    xo

  5. Gorgeous, Mimi…….some wonderful images, I especially love a foggy black and white whisper and the description of Mamu. Big hugs, Jx

  6. Thank you for the comment, Jo. Big hug back.

  7. Excuse me? Can someone unlock the door? Hellooooooo!

    Rose

    xo

  8. Rose! Hi, come in…come in!!! Big hug. – Mimi. xx

  9. mimi, this is outstanding writing

  10. Beeskiffle, Thank you for the comment. It’s no small thing that you’ve read it and approve!

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