Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère

Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère
Édouard Manet, 1882

CHARLOTTE (Off Screen): I’m stuck. Does it get easier?
BOB: No, yes, it does…
(Sofia Coppola, “Lost in Translation”)

Caught between geometry and eternity
laced by fine fabric, cotton and holes,
choker and paste,
she does not say anything.

It is, of course, a presaged cubist ploy.
The reflection is one of disjunction,
almost as if the artist is conniving
with the chandeliered candlelight

in order to multifacet the facts.
Her reverie drifts
around locked doors between hotel rooms,
each with no connection to each,

each with its own concealed presence,
ill-defined fellows, fixating,
conversing with a figment of her image
possessed by another.

She is empty among the full bottles.
Her absent gaze has no sparkle
wired into that concentration
that is the beginning of grief

and ends in the ellipsis
of dialog and understanding,
inside space and lost exteriors.
It does not get any easier.

© Martin Porter 2011

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