Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Laying Down 'Le Gant'

. . . a scurry of whispers coming from the restless wall pipe

Lenin had the logic for it . . .

Waitstaff circling la table, laying spoons, folding serviettes,

straightening a candle such that shadows from it fall like noon,

drawing from inconsequential talk a new notice,

the concord of their motion like mute swans.

After it all, the cheese, the mousse, Château d'Yquem,

significant time broke through, and we 'transcended' where we were --

she murmured aufgehoben, citing Marx --

where consuetude is left behind, departure points

to the arrival where routine becomes a new life.

her Burberry gloves falling like feathers to the parquet floor

Yet, I said, yet the soul still hovers . . .



  1. Another one of your evocative slice of life pieces. Sexy and intelligent. I like. A lot.

  2. Wonderful! I have read it three times, and it still delights my senses!

  3. Tess,

    As I commented on Magpie, this was a difficult delivery. Hadn't thought of 'sexy' in starting out -- probably wanted to avoid it. But thanks for appreciating those elements therein folded.


  4. Oh, I do love this, you had me at the "folding servittes"...yes, a lovely affair for a pair of gloves and a floor of parquet...but my favorite line "where routine becomes a new life"...that is one to tuck away for more thought, maybe in a new year....have a great one....bkm

  5. Helen,

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm. So much of the poem didn't gel for me until . . . it finally fell into place.

    (I'd begun another. I'd finish a second. Both were time-devouring dead-ends.)

    Happy New Year!


  6. bkm,

    I like that you come at it this way. The images held sharp for me, but I too needed a 'keystone' to give it support, coherence.

    The 'new life' must be ironic for those still adhering to Marxist dialectic, which I must have set back a thousand years -- juxtaposition of the italicized dialogue as I've done it, under certain 'regimes' would no doubt be cause for my 'administrative removal'.

    Happy New Year back to you!


  7. What a nice métaphoric poem of the end of a year, it sounds like an appraisal.Because of the title, i think at the first sense to Rita Hayworth singing " put the blame on mame"in Gilda.Lovely year to you from France and long live to your blog!

  8. lots of intelligent and thoughtful lines in this poem of yours - what gripped me most though - maybe because i'm german...she murmured aufgehoben, citing Marx --...

  9. Isabelle,

    Rita is, indeed, one of my 'muses'! Her opera-length gloves in Gilda . . . well.

    (Note I worked 'soul' in? I considered "l'âme", but I'd already seasoned the English with French words and wine.)


  10. Claudia,

    I always wonder just how transparently 'class-based' the writing is that comes out of me.

    Don't even bother -- I reek of the middle class, American style.

    Studied German in school, almost majored in it, but was drawn back into my birth tongue.

    As to the German used here, I'm cribbing it from what little studies I've informally made over decades into both Marx and Hegel. There was something about transformation that wanted saying, and something 'continental', 'Euro-' that's absent from North America.


  11. well done,

    routine becomes a new life...
    thoughtful line...

    Happy 2011.

  12. Jingle,

    I had to give thought to phrase-placement. Several sounded 'right', but needed 'fitting'.

    Happy 2011 to you, as well!