Sunday, June 3, 2012

Goodnight, Vienna

A dragon drapes
between  us,
powder blue.

The bottom leaves,
you said,
I hadn’t
given them much
thought, until
you said you
liked them

Yes, the leaves on
the bottom right.
You apologize
for your cigarette,
trying to hold it
but I like the smoke,
the must of old twigs
and leather
burning beyond stone fences
we rode for ponies
those years ago.

Sometimes when I draw,
I feel the anxiety,
the hurry to get to the end,
and I notice my hand moving
faster, automatically.
Those leaves
fanning from the stem
were an afterthought,
quickly spilled out.

And holding me, now,
you bring your hand
to the soft petal peony
of my breast,
and drip some sweet poison in my ear.
And I won’t even wait
for your glasses
to come off
to kiss you


  1. A wonderful conceit, that dragon. Draping! I wish my mind could leap like that. It is simply a gorgeous conceit, that works so well. Powder blue at that!

    How is it to be believed? I love how anything becomes silken in your poetic hands.

    Perhaps the explanation in your current post about this relationship, memories and rekindled interest helps me understand this poem, but I’m not sure it would matter if I didn’t understand. The links are so delicate, like the leaves, and that soft petal peony (!).

    Very, very lovely.

    1. Oh, Ruth, I'm so glad that you "get" me!
      I gather images and write them down. I saw somewhere, maybe a movie preview, a shot of a woman's left hip covered with a sheer silk powder blue peignoir upon which was tufted a darker blue dragon which draped down her thigh. I was so taken with the image that I wrote in a notebook "a powder blue dragon drapes down your thigh."
      I can't always retrieve images and notes, but this one grabs stuff from all over.
      The title is from Sherlock--The Great Game episode: “nasty wound, tetanus enters the blood stream and Goodnight, Vienna”. I found that phrase so resonant and romantic and it catalyzed the some pieces I had been puzzling over, how to draw what was floating around in my head. I was very pleased with the dragon; I thought it could suggest many meanings here, so thanks so much for seeing that, too. The soft petal peony I actually retrieved from a comment you made about a photo I posted of a white peony. So you see, I'm a bit of a thieving Magpie at times.

    2. "the some pieces" hmmm, could be a title. I think I meant "some of the pieces" instead.

  2. I kind of like "the some pieces" too. Gathering these bits is half the fun, I think, and I want to do more of it. You've inspired me. We all "steal" ... or maybe it's more like receiving, and using what we're given. The dragon back story is wonderful. And that opening stanza is one of my favorites, ever.