Mannequin Planet

Original artwork by T. Blake

pencil in the image of a dancing lady
dress melted down like tobacco, a hit of
vintage perfume and a smooth gathering of
chiffon at the ankles, this will
be her scene

enter: a cat with a cool strut
his groove is loose like silver, a
cabaret like a one-man masquerade
and the room’s a brass balloon, the
soft matrix of an iron corset like the doors
to a kingdom untethered at its hinges

stage left: some girls in tops hats
the first olive in a dry martini
a turntable resting precariously
on the naked edge of a spider’s web
Mick Jagger, dinner forks, and small talk
bobbing for hors d’ouvres like candy apples

please allow me to introduce myself
(in a voice that doesn’t feel altogether human)
ladies and gentlemen, on this night that’s
young and full of disguises at the house of
Madam Mannequin’s Masquerade
where every face is a false mirror
and each reflection a harbinger of truth
somewhere between your innermost
self and a lie, you’ll learn everything
that exists is in a state of unnatural combination
*flings off her boa and loosens a patron’s necktie*
and that tension is the great driver of all progress
and selfish inaction *feeds him a cocktail shrimp and
blows his wife a kiss*

we drink all our desires from an
impossible mouth, she says, her
backup dancers twirling to the beat of
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, we’re each our
selves and another and if you don’t learn to
have sympathy for the devil he’ll destroy
you just the same *raises up her shot glass and
crowdsurfs to the back of the bar*

imagine what you could build with the
strength it takes to be somebody else
counterfeit monsters, real people in foreign hands, a
shoulder approaches the neck like a passing train
the room is filled with emerald smoke as the
crowd collapses in a dizzying heap of
fiberglass and storefront lingerie

one man is the odd one out and she
asks him for his hand,
The future is ending, boy, you’d
better kiss me while you can.

22 thoughts on “Mannequin Planet

  1. Negotiating the skin deep
    We are the Goon Squad
    and we’ve burning your town
    Beep Beep
    The end of time has just begun
    The deal going down
    has spun off the prayer wheel
    of space and time
    As lovers weep
    and dreamers sleep
    in the depths
    of a mannequin’s arms
    A planetary crime

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is beautiful! You make me wonder what is going on your poetry, signorina. There is something new in the tone and choice of words… “Mannequin Planet” is beyond everything else, and I know there are more layers in this one for me to discover… You have me thinking on the full range of possibilities you have for new poetic experiments.

    Have a nice weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, J! I knew you would perceive the difference in tone. I certainly like this poem much better than the original version of “Mannequin Planet.” And I am glad you feel this is something you can continue to re-read and unpack. Do you know what’s funny? This poem finally came together the moment I learned the Stones will be playing here in Charlotte this summer. I got all excited about it and decided to put their music on. That was the missing piece. 🙂 I wish you a happy weekend, also!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Some really bizarre, dynamic imagery in this poem, which I really enjoyed. I dig “the Stones” in the background, too. This poem is a fun raucous of the burlesque spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Le blog n’est qu’un hommage à Tanger, la ville où j’ai vécu et que je porterai toujours dans mon cœur.
        اتمنى لك اسبوعا سعيدا

        Liked by 1 person

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