Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Background Music for a Two Dollar Princess

Photo compliments of
Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales #70

It was something she said;
just a word, a tick of the clock,
a perfect stitch in time,
tapping in my mind – you can’t
be a princess anymore –
tapestry is out of style.
Stop dreaming! Get up and dance
out of the old weave – you’re free!

She’s right. Forget the used to be.
Get out of this musty old shop,
leaving finger prints in the dust.
The only thing alive is the little girl
behind the counter, watching her movie –
humming: “ I know you, I walked with you
once upon a dream…”. The woman with the
tattoos, out back, must be her mother.

I tripped on the upturned corner of a carpet
– out of the magic moment, catching myself
on a table edge, touching the cool glass
on an old photograph of a woman, a beauty -
our eyes met. We knew each other.
She’d been waiting for me, serene in sepia,
framed in solid walnut, set on a fine tapestry.
A priceless find – my two dollar princess.

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  1. I love the imagery here... and I love the ending!

  2. Yes, I endorse Laurie Kolp's observation.

  3. What a beautiful flow to this..some things were surely meant to be.."our eyes met...we knew each other"..perfect ending!

  4. Gorgeously interesting-- When I was young I used to sing that song from Sleeping Beauty! xxxxj

  5. Your poem is wonderful ... love the way you incorporated the background and frame.

  6. You did have a trip on a magic carpet, didn't you? LOL

  7. smiles. masterful strok in the unveiling of your tale in verse and what seeing her spoke to you...well played...

  8. Beautiful poem. It drew me in and I agree with others it's a great ending line.

  9. great poem.. deep and pulling piece :)

  10. Some amazing wordplay in and between the lines! "a perfect stitch in time,
    tapping in my mind"
    You had me at those lines. Great poetic storytelling.

  11. Sweet reflections...touching and emotional in its take on the prompt, with some truly striking lines. "he’d been waiting for me, serene in sepia,
    framed in solid walnut, set on a fine tapestry.
    A priceless find – my two dollar princess." Particularly enjoyed the ending. Captures the whole mood of the piece, really.

  12. ….reading this piece of yours is like a li’l bit of heaven here in my heart with sadness in between the lines… i am touched… adorable write. (:
    Brightest blessings. ~Kelvin

  13. Lots of identity shifts, or maybe lessons would be a better word, so that the writer at the end is not quite the same as the one who started. (I hope you know I meant my remarks about stitches on your other piece as a compliment--I've done fine needlework--it's extremely difficult, and it's an art form.)

  14. Joy,
    Yes of course, I in turn hope you take no offense at my using you as a muse... Your prior comment was too much to resist. I was looking for an entry into the whole princess/feminism/Disney thing and the opening phrase popped into my head. It took me where I wanted to go. My meaning is unclear in a quick perusal; I always try to make a poem work too hard, reader as well I guess. I'll surely write more on the subject, since it looms large as a philosophical topic in my century book. By the way, I don't do needlepoint. I do love your insightful comments!

  15. Thanks for clarifying, Ann. I'm glad you know I was only comparing the level and accomplishment of the skills. Needlework is nine tenths drudgery and one tenth pure creativity--sort of like poetry, perhaps, though I'd rather write or pull weeds in the herb garden any day than ruin my eyes over a tapestry. I'm glad if my remark had anything to do with this fine poem, and thanks for coming by and reading my hedgerider's special.

  16. I really liked this piece, and the
    several paradigm shifts help a
    lot. Your title is brilliant, conjuring
    up a kind noir pulp feel to it, and
    then you take us down unexpected
    avenues. We never find out who
    "she" is, but she sets the tone.
    /get up and dance out of the old weave/
    is fresh, complex, layered.

  17. Nice job, really summed it up great with a priceless find.

    To each their own.

  18. You always string your words together beautifully :)

  19. I love your title too. You wrote this wonderfully. :)

  20. lovely piece Ann
    I like the way you bend the storylines and play with space

    best wishes, Isabel

  21. Good blend of spirit and description.

  22. Great poem. Reminded me a little bit of Roethke's "Dolor" -

    ... I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
    Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
    Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
    Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
    Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.

    And I have been in hundred of those dusty reliquaries of lost lives across the Florida platform -- thrift stores, antique malls -- all of them unbearable in the freight of giving up, letting go. You rally like Elizabeth Bishop, who found that to "Write It!" is to "get up and dance / out of the old weave." Yes, you're, we're free. - Brendan

  23. When our eyes met, I did feel like I knew her. Delightful write, Ann.

  24. Beautiful! This puts me right inside the shop and I can almost smell the must and the dust. She and I knew each other as well. Thanks for your comment.

  25. Two Dollar Princess. I like that.

  26. That last stanza is really magical. Nicely done.

  27. A delightful read - I felt like I was there.

  28. Poetic story; love the ending. Wonderful.

  29. Those old photos --they remind us of our own mortality. Fine poem, Ann.

  30. Those old photos --they remind us of our own mortality. Fine poem, Ann.

  31. I love the last stanza as many have said. Fantastic you pulled me right in and that statement about the girl being the only one alive kicked me in the stomach. How many of us can say we are actually alive?

  32. Very intriguing, I'd like to hear more about them.