Sunday, September 6, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 117 - But Rather Allowed to Lapse

For last week's Thursday Thirteen I did a review of Christine Wells' Regency historical romance, Wicked Little Game.

For today's found poetry, I've taken a scene from her book and turned it into a poem.

But Rather Allowed to Lapse

Sarah heard heavy footsteps on stairs
Paused on the landing

Put her ear to the door
Brinsley's voice
Shrill tones of their landlady

"Ooh, go on with yer, Mr. Cole!"

Short scuffle
Rustle of skirts
Smacking sound
Like a kiss
A kiss

Giggles bubbled
"You are naughty, sir!
What would your lady wife say if she knew?"

If she knew

Sarah snorted
I'd say better you than me, my dear

Brinsley heaved a sigh
"Indeed, it is very bad
But I cannot help myself.
And my wife is
While you are so very

He gave a lascivious chuckle

She ought
She ought to pity the woman
She believed Brinsley sweet on her
Sarah knew his attentions
Were nothing more
Nothing more
Than a clever way to avoid paying rent

Brinsley craved female attention
Needed to enslave
Needed every woman
Who crossed his path

Brinsley continued up
To their floor
Flung open the door
Sauntered in

"My darling wife," he said softly

He stripped off his coat
Stripped and threw it
Over a chair

"Good evening Brinsley.
I was just about to retire."

With a tug
A tug his neckcloth came away
He tossed it
On the floor
Flung himself down
Down on the sofa

The picture of a beautiful, dissolute rake

Where his lawn shirt fell open
Sarah saw mottled bruising
Saw bruising
Round his throat

"What happened to you?"

She noticed the cut
The cut on
Brinsley's lower lip

"Have you been in a fight?"

He gazed limpidly at her
She took his chin
He gazed at her
She turned his face to the light

"Are you going to kiss it better?"

She dropped her hand
Left the room without a word

Without a word
Poured water from a pitcher
Returned to the sitting room
With basin and flannel
Knelt beside the sofa

Wrinkling her nose
At Brinsley's ripe odor
Dipped flannel in water
The excess

Dabbed at his bloody lip
Hoped it hurt
Hurt like the Devil

Oww, stop it."

Brinsley ceased playing wounded soldier
Whisked flannel out of her grasp
Whisked it
Dropped it
On the floor

There could only be one reason
For Brinsley's condition

One reason

She stood
Folded her arms

"How much did you lose tonight, Brin?"

Clear blue eyes gazed
Up at her
His Archangel Gabriel face

"Did I not give you my word
I would not play?"

Sarah sighed

So tired

Tired of these games
This endless charade

She knew him too well
Knew him
He lied to her just for the practice

She set a pot of water
Over the hearth to boil
Their staff
A daily maid
Brinsley's valet

How different
From the house she grew up in

Where one tripped
Tripped over powdered footman
Bustling housemaids
Life at Penrose Hall
Grandiose and tiresome

In wedding divinely handsome
Unacceptable Brinsley
A fit of girlish romanticism
She'd made her choice

Her choice
Grandiose and tiresome

Her family had done nothing so dramatic
As to cast her off

Such emotive histrionics
Beneath the Earl and Countess of Straghan

The connection had not been severed
Not severed
But rather
Allowed to lapse

Sarah busied herself
Brinsley came up behind
Wrapped his arms around her waist

Arms around her

Dug his chin
Into her shoulder
She stiffened

The poor deluded man
Still thought he could seduce her
To his will

His wine-fumed breath
Stirred in her ear
"What would you say
If I told you that
You, my lady
Could make us rich?

We could buy a house
Employ servants
Go to parties
You could have
Your old life back."

"I would say, Brinsley
That there must be a catch."

She twisted
Trying to meet his eyes

His eyes

She twisted

"What would I have to do?"

- Christine Wells, 2009

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Jeeves says Poetic verses! Like this a lot.

Joy Renee says Right up until the end where you 'signed' Christine Wells' name to it I thought you were composing it yourself with the picture as inspiration.


Jeeves said...

Poetic verses! Like this a lot.

Joy Renee said...

That's an interesting concept--to turn a piece of prose into a poem with line breaks and judicious repetition . Right up until the end where you 'signed' Christine Wells' name to it I thought you were composing it yourself with the picture as inspiration.

It's also a wicked little way of getting someone interested in the story. :)

My post is a Review of Whitman's Leaves of Grass:

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Jeeves - Doing these scenes from other writers over as poems is a great exercise for me. I'm learning so much from this year of found poetry.

Joy Renee - Would you believe I thought about you yesterday? I've been doing only found poetry this year, sometimes using my own prose, sometimes using text from other sources. It's been really challenging and a whole lot of fun.

gautami tripathy said...

You excel in those. So vivid. Great narration.

you steal the moment

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