The Refusal

For Bjorn’s prompt at Real Toads. He is asking for toxic emotions. Again, it brings Dorian Gray to mind. This is two in two days.

The Refusal
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple”. Oscar Wilde

He was astounded.
The woman turned him down.
She was sweet about it, in an American
Southern kind of way –
She looked at him with huge pansy brown eyes
and said,
Thank you. I appreciate it.
I have lost a dear friend and I am –
I am numb.
And she rose from the table and walked out.
She paid for her own drinks as well.
One of the Café Royal’s delicious waiters cleared the table
and looked at him with wistfulness.
He knew that look and this particular waiter.
He also had the waiter bring a friend as well.
He was angry. (how dare she refuse him!)
He was hurt. (how dare she refuse him)
He was mystified. (how dare she refuse him!)
Afterwards when the delicious waiters were sleeping,
Dorian went into the secret room and looked
at the portrait of himself painted so many years ago.
He wondered,
Did she see through him?
Did she see him as he really looked?
He went back to the waiters to awaken them.
Time for more frolic.

picture of Dorian Gray

Cafe Royal 06/08/2018

For Kerry’s Prompt today at Real Toads, Spec Fic (speculative fiction). We are to write a poem that is based on Spec Fic, dystopian, furturistic, horror, gothic. I am adding a new poem to my Dorian Grey series (character by Oscar Wilde).  The picture of the young Tony Bourdain is one of my favorites.  We were cheffing at the same time. I burned out and left the professional world, he stayed and became an icon.  He suicided, I am still here.  There is a lot of sadness about his suicide; we are of an age, had similar beginnings of our careers, we were at one point high all the time (it was a way of kitchen life in the 70’s and early 80’s), we both travelled extensively tasting food and experiences.  I miss him a lot.

Anthony Bourdain 1979


Cafe Royal 06/08/2018

“…your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
― Anthony Bourdain
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Oscar Wilde

The third cafe mocha of the morning,
The young man with the antique face
put down his cup and stared at the handsome waiters.
The Café Royal always had the most…delicious waiters.
His eye was arrested by one of the waiters
taking an absinthe to someone –
It was 11:00 am in the morning.
Surely too early for absinthe.
He spotted her.
At the table alone, grief in every inch of her body.
She put down the newspaper –
Lowered it down slowly as if,
as if it were a baby or a
mortally ill cat.
The waiter flamed the absinthe for her.
He said something to her.
She raised her eyes to him and then lowered them.
Picking up the absinthe,
Picking up the newspaper.
The young man with the antique face
continued to stare at her until
she looked up.
She saw him.
For once he was ashamed of his actions.
He stood and walked to her table.
She looked at him from head to toe
and said
Nothing.
She lowered her face again and
one of the gorgeous waiters came
with another absinthe.
Don’t, he spoke. Please don’t.
He put his hand lightly on her wrist.
I know grief he said. I know pain of loss
and heartbreak. I’ve watched my friends dying
One.
By.
One.
She put her head down and began to read the paper again.
Upside down he read:
“Anthony Bourdain, 61, found dead by suicide”
For once he was almost human.
For once he almost paid for her drinks and walked away.
Dorian Gray sighed. What the hell,
One only lives forever.
He sat down at the table
and looked into her eyes.

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray – public domain photo

San Francisco, August 1967

Today for day 25 of Nanaporno, I am posting an epistolary poem for Rommy’s prompt: Virtue or Vice. She lists for us the seven heavenly virtues and the seven deadly sins. I am letting my old muse, Dorian Gray, speak for me.
I am continuing to hang with the Toads.

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful

San Francisco, August 1967
“I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.” Oscar Wilde 

My Dear Arthur,
I am posting you a fast letter
from this right raucous lass of a city,
San Francisco.
A city of lust, sloth, gluttony –
All the vices one could ask for
And more.
The city abounds with restaurants,
from food eaten out of hand on the streets
to the poshest of restaurants,
some even on a par with my beloved Café Royale.
There is a “head” shop in an area called
The Haight.
One can buy any drug imaginable.
It is a sweet shop for adults!
The young people are beautiful –
Restless, peace eating, free lovers.
I shall devour them Arthur.
I shall eat and lick and fuck
them every one.
I am having a party tonight.
I wish you could be there to enjoy
them with me.
How you would delight in them.
I must go – time waits for no man, ha.ha.
Eternally yours,
Dorian

Either love or money?

The Mid-week Motif Prompt over at Poets United this week is “money”. I don’t know if this will fit or not but here is yet another poem about Dorian Grey. I’ve been working on this one since last year.  I am also posting this on dVerse Poets OLN.

Either Love or Money?
I was born wealthy –
Old inherited money, y’know?
But I was bored beyond belief –
so I sold my soul –
But you all know that already.
I was bored with going to the Café Royale
and being gaped at by the pseudo-aesthetes.
I was bored with buying my ties
collars and waistcoats from Liberty
and wearing cobalt blue and
wine coloured velveteen suits from
Krause and Sons on Jermyn Street.
The endless chatter of the wealthy,
The whining and begging of the poor.
When I was 110, I realized
I was bored again. All that money
all that beauty, all the drugs, sex,
And food – I was boredboredbored.
So here I am in 2017
and am even more bored than I ever was.
Do these people not realize they are murdering their home?
That they are living years beyond their means?
That the poor and homeless are still with us
and people still die –
by overdoses, bizarre diseases, in those
warehouses for the aged, by guns,
by automobiles, wars.
And I am still alive.
If asked what I would rather have
either love or money?
To use the parlance of today,
I would say, hell yes. Show me the money.
After all, it has bought me eternity.

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful

Dear Dorian

Bjorn is hosting the pub today for our Meeting the Bar segment. He is asking us to write poetry in the form of a letter. It must be a true letter with salutation and ending and poetry in between! Today Karin is promoting us to write a letter poem.  

 

My Dear Dorian,
It has been many years since I last saw you at the Café Royale.
I was surprised to you see you sitting
in the midst of The Kong – The Four
as we in Society named you.

Whistler, Forbes, and Oscar looked
older, wiser, more foolish,
dusty around the edges –
like a doily left too long on the surface
of a table that has waited too long to be dusted.

There you sat
like an exotic orchid
perched among faded roses –
but those roses still have long thorns
with blood on them.
Their tongues will ever be sharp!
I wonder if I will live long enough
to see them discarded and dead
In the trash bin.

You saw me and your beautiful mouth
curved in a sardonic smile.
You tipped your glass of champagne
in my direction.

One more café mocha –
It makes my heart go so fast,
But then,
when spring has paled and lovers
such as you consigned to the grave –
it is good to feel my heart beat faster,
to feel alive.

Is that why you did it?
Why you made your deal
with Fate?
So you could feel alive forever?

I wonder. But I just wanted you know –
I know your secret.

With best regards,
Lady Lavinia Thornsby

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray, Penny Dreadful

dVerse Poetics – The Spouses

Kim is our guest prompter today at dVerse Poetics (kim@writinginnorfolk.com).  This is her first time hosting for us!  She is asking us to write about, being, the spouse of someone famous, hopefully, someone dead so no libel.  I am taking it one step further by writing as the spouse of Dorian Gray, my eternally beautiful and bored, favorite character of Oscar Wilde.  Come visit us today and get to know Kim and the rest of the gang – however we show up! http://dversepoets.com/2016/08/23/poetical-spouses/

Mrs. Dorian Gray
“I care for who you are, not for what you wear.”  Dorian Gray, Penny Dreadful

I sit here, old and wrinkled.
I have often wondered at you –
Eternally young and beautiful…and bored –
although you kindly say I never bore you
and you still touch me as you did when I/we were young
and that in your eyes, I am still the young bride
you brought home these sixty years gone.
The men and women come and go,
yet somehow, I still remain.
I wondered why, two decades ago –
Why you were still young and beautiful…and bored –
Until I found the portrait.
Until I found the portrait secreted away
in a basement room, hidden behind locks.
You were distracted one day and left your keys
on the bedside table.
And so
I took them and went to the room.
I must confess,
My heart almost stopped in my chest
At terror of the beast in the life-sized portrait.
And how as I watched, it changed
And became even more bestial and deformed.
I never told you I knew your secret but…
I think you guessed.
I love you,
Heart of my heart and soul of my soul.
I’ll love you until I die
Which God grant, will be soon.

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray - public domain photo

Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray – public domain photo

dVerse Poetics – Persona

Tuesday at dVerse Poetics, Grace and guest, KB, prompt us to write a persona poem. We step out of ourselves and comfort zones to write a poem from the viewpoint of another person – true, fictional, mythical, literary. I think this will bring about some interesting poems. Who would you like to be? Do you imagine the life inside another person? Then write it down and come link your thoughts. I have written about a person with whom I have always been fascinated – Dorian Gray.  I am linking to Poets United Poetry Pantry http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2016/01/poetry-pantry-285.html  and dVerse Poets Pub  http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/12/poetics-persona-poem/

Two Faces – One Life
“I am tired of myself to-night. I should like to be somebody else.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

I sold my soul for eternal beauty, for never ending pleasure.
Seduced by the sensational, enticed to explore exquisite forms –
Lured to indulgent lust.
All because of an artist and his besotted attraction
To the man he painted with such loving blindness –
and to the man who stood watching me posing and the painter,
and his words of poisonous temptation to live life
– who said with a sneering laugh –
the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it**.

I admit to you, to anyone  that I am indeed beautiful.
I was beautiful and bored that summer day
A century and more ago.
I am still beautiful and bored.
And so, I sold my soul.
Why does one need a soul when one has eternal life
– and everlasting youth and beauty?
Evenings in opium dens,
dawns in the arms of another lover,
being cruel to those who love me,
committing a casual murder just to know
how it feels to end the life of some lesser being –
and never have to pay – all my sins visible only
on a hidden portrait and no sign of them
upon my public face.

To travel to foreign lands and to feel the frissons of pleasure
in the arms of an exotic woman or a desperate man
or in several during a single evening.
To commit atrocities upon others who
need the money or the pain or the illusion and to throw down some coins
or a few false words or just to leave and never look back
at the face where love has dawned.

And yes I have loved and loved deeply.
But they grow old or mundane or predictable.
And I remain young and beautiful and desired.
And the portrait now after all these years
shows a monster of grotesque visage and in a state
of eternal rut.
But you will never know –
You will never see the private me.
and long after you are dust,
I will remain – bored and beautiful.

**quote from the Picture of Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray portrayed by Reeve Carney, Penny Dreadful Season 1, Episode 2

Dorian Gray portrayed by Reeve Carney, Penny Dreadful Season 1, Episode 2

 

 

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