Saturday, December 5, 2015

Building an Image of Sophistication...

An olive-skinned woman in a ruby satin dress
lazily swishes her martini in a long-stemmed glass.
She rests at the end of the bar
tendrils of smoke blur the curves of her face.

Her posture flawless,
her free hand lightly caressing her thigh,
she surveys the muted room with familiarity,
A wisdom that softens her lips
and hardens her eyes.

She is noticed, and she knows it.
But an air of respect diffuses the scent of carnal desire,
saturating the crisp suits and pearly tablecloths,
allowing her to glow in the periphery
like the candle on the rim of a bathtub.

Greetings are answered with a gentle smile.
Propositions politely refused with a shake of the head.
Veteran patrons don’t linger to chat,
but leave her to her drink and consideration.

She holds a vigil every night,
The same drink, the same bar stool,
The same tired, defiant glimmer in her eye.
Her head tilts elegantly at the sound of the saxophone
And somehow, the newcomers know she has them all figured out.

What she doesn’t know
is that I can see her
all the way through
and her sophistication is my graceful attempt
to cling to my soulfulness
to prevent its being suppressed into silence
by a distant refinement
separating me from desire
and the pounding of my heart.
- Kiernan Michau, "Sophisticated Lady" (Sep 19, 2010)

3 comments:

FreeThinke said...

Here are links to several different versions of a song I think much better suits the mood, tone and imagery evoked in Michau's wistful poem. The song, called "INVITATION" was composed by Bronislau Kaper and used as the prevailing theme in two movies from the 190's –– both film noir melodramas –– the first with Dorothy McGuire, Van Johnson and Louis Calhern poignantly romantic –– the second with Lana Turner and Barry Sullivan heartbreakingly decadent.


INVITATION by Bronislaw Kaper

Pianista Italiano:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkGhDzOwkMI

Jack Jones (vocal):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo7USbY_sfI

Bill Evans:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Zv4VyjVGY

John Coltrane
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8eYVN8hAlU

Jack Wilson:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y48zuQfeIvg

Melodic Drummer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnvxgH4LIhM

FreeThinke said...

A Life of Her Own - Lana Turner (trailer)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVSS57Wp3P4

Bronislaw Kaper's INVITATION in lush Hollywood piano-concerto-style orchestration is the theme song here.

FreeThinke said...

Opening credits for the film INVITATION (1952) with Dorothy McGuire, Van Johnson and Louis Calhern

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxbaEOEqUQ0

Same these song with a different, more subtle, less rhapsodic orchestration.