Fragments of a faded afternoon

Fighting, or something more carnal?
Buttocks and biceps, hip to hip
Blood oozes through carbonate

Reprobate. Did Jacob ever overcome
that cuddled struggle? Do Not Touch. My fingers
On big bold toes – Man is cured

Afternoons and after all, there’s always analogue.
Clocks melt. Pocket chocolate. Hot under this collar
We strip before a nude

God dispenses gifts. A Journeyman doled talents.
Lifelike flesh putrid green. Clash of gash red smile.
Wasting away, waste of paint and Peeping Toms

Moving. keep moving lest we petrify
Statues advance, out of the eye’s corner.
A watchman. Tick-tock. Do Not Touch

Electric wires nerve taut. Sensitive to stealth
Keeps collection in connection. No mycorrhizal miracle
Fungi give roots some reason to relate

Natural hangings, landscapes, a lizard peeps
From tulips. Life’s never still. Sling expectation
Slop canvas, drip by drop, paint finds form.

Tea. And coffee summons to the café. All munch
On musings. “Next visit I’ll show you the Rembrandts”
“That’s nice”. I hear the Chiaroscuro master chuckle.

For my MTB Critique & Craft prompt “Picking up some pieces” we are writing a piece of Modernist Fragment Poetry – either several numbered stanzas with disjointed relationship, or a poem where the whole is in fragments, as here on a Tate gallery visit

47 thoughts on “Fragments of a faded afternoon

  1. This is gorgeously gorgeously rendered, Laura! Wow! I especially love; “Afternoons and after all, there’s always analogue. Clocks melt. Pocket chocolate. Hot under this collar. We strip before a nude..” 💝💝

  2. What a good idea! I wondered what was going on until I read the explanation at the end, and suddenly, it all made sense and each stanza became more visual.

  3. Really quite brilliant, smashing light and darkness so together in this chiaroscuro of an embrace. There’s fire in the shards, friction to keep meaning haunted & still yearning. The only thing that seemed over the top was the big drop caps. Maybe just bold the first letter? And the title should probl. be singular “Fragment.” Minor observations on a really kinetic poem.

    1. thank you for all your feedback Brendan – and you have a point about plurality but the title came to me during insomnia so I stuck with it! Also I wanted to encapsulate the whole fragment so I like the drop cap best

  4. This is a barometre…transcends quite a bit I am learning about poetry, or more exactly takes me to another step. Exciting read!

  5. I don’t usually take acrostics all that seriously, Laura, but this one is marvelous. Whodathunkit? wowza!
    (And thanks for hosting this cool prompt).

    1. many thanks Ron – am only an occasional acrosticer! the fragments fitted the bill though, as the saying goes
      (good to know you enjoyed this prompt – it shows rather too well in your poem!)

  6. Love this Laura! To think all were picked up in that fragment of time in the art gallery is most fascinating! Thanks for hosting Ma’am!

    Hank

  7. Right away I thought it was an Ekphrastic ramble through some different works of art. A gallery visit is perfect! (K)

  8. Such a fabulous idea to use surrounding, like a museum, as your source material. I just love these.

  9. I was confused at first, but the end brings it all together. What a wonderful idea. I can totally imagine wandering through an art museum and viewing these paintings.

    1. confusion is good Merrill – in fact modern fragment poetry especially does not seek to reassure with an understanding so am thinking I should have left out the explanation!

  10. Very Clever format, Laura. I vote for F and that “carbonate/ reprobate” rhyme. I really like this format and the freedom to hit the reader with seemingly (but not necessarily) random images or scenes which you do so well here. On the subject of meaning, I have to confess it’s the last thing I look for when reading a poem, it’s the the language, the images, the music and those rhymes that take me by surprise…JIM

    1. spot on Jim – appreciate all your feedback – I agree meaning does not have to be at the forefront – take Dylan Thomas for example, I just love listening to his words and Cohen’s lyrics

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