Monday, June 2, 2008

Black Satin Dress


Sorry for so few posts lately. Mea culpa. So in case anyone is still reading ... -:)


Black Satin Dress


Cosmic background radiation
crackles from the phonograph
as you dance

in a long satin dress, black,
holding scotch neat,
inviting me with your hips

to feel the irresistible pull
of dark matter
collapsing into a kiss.

A diamond needle spirals
inward to the final groove.
The only sound is a hiss.

Photo: Public Domain

66 comments:

Tina Trivett said...

This is heavenly...in lots of ways.

SandyCarlson said...

Inviting yet forbidding, intimate yet lonely all at once. Well done, Billy. Your imagery layers your lines with meaning and meaning and more. Well done.

Liquid said...

I miss that sound!

Geraldine said...

PERFECT! I am such a fan of all things 40's:movies, music, clothes....this is so in tune with that particular groove. Sexy but very tasteful too.

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

jason evans said...

Such a perfect fusion between modern and noir. The phonograph was the perfect vehicle for this dance to the sound of soft jazz.

Lana Gramlich said...

Very nice combo of space-age & noir.

Jo said...

I'm watching black and white movies with my grandma and yearning for Errol Flynn.....perfection.

Lisa said...

I can hear the hiss pop and feel the satin...this is gorgeous.

MyBellavia said...

Billy,

This is georgous poetry. Each line pulls me deeper in. The combination of art, texture, music and dance is alluring to me.

Wonderful, wonderful!!

Britta Coleman said...

Sorry I've been MIA, too, and yes, I'm still reading.

Enjoyed the poem...underscores the unique power of the little black dress.

Great word, hiss.

Sarah Hina said...

Cosmic collisions in the dark--yeah, I love this. ;)

There is such heat in a hiss.

raine said...

This is VERY good, William!
Love the description of the satin, and the photo is perfect.
And the phonograph! I didn't know people still remembered the sound of them, lol!

Raven said...

Magnificent as always. I love the fourth stanza in particular:

to feel the irresistible pull
of dark matter
collapsing into a kiss

Beautiful.

Charles Gramlich said...

Very good. I did have a bit of a soundtrack effect with this one. Kept hearing "long cool woman in a black dress."

rebecca said...

i don't know i may be the only one who's reading this in a totally different way but snakes are a sexual symbol and i take the hiss at the end to come from the woman whom you find irresistible! and, as such, i found the poem to be perfect in its progression and symbolism! this one was terrific. oh yeah....

WillThink4Wine said...

Were you inspired by the pillars of creation, Billy? This is just gorgeous!

I can see and hear the needle bouncing back and forth at the center of the record... just lovely.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

it's so good to see you back!! i love the poem, too.

EATING POETRY said...

I love the contrast here: the desire tinged with fear. The kiss yet the hiss.

paisley said...

oh that was smooth.. very noir....

Pam said...

Oh, the black dress as black matter, mysterious but vital, phonograph hisses like radiation. . . this whole poem is a wonderful fusion.

JP/deb said...

I love the sounds and feel in this poem. Pure sensuality. JP/deb

Billy said...

Tina, it would be heaven to have moments like this again. I am sentimental and nostalgic.

Sandy, this is actually a poem that is eleven years old and was pub'd in a journal, the name of which escapes me now. When I wrote it, I liked the combination of the old vinyl records with the astronomy metaphors. Thnaks -:)

Liquid, I'm sure I could buy an old Victrola on eBay if I had the money. Slow dancing with the old records popping and hissing--gotta love it.

Geraldine, yeah, I was trying for a period piece that would hint at sexuality in a tight, short poem. The pic is of Tyrone Power and ... somebody in ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND.

Jason, thanks. The phonograph, which is an "appliance" I grew up with, really was the starting point for the entire piece.

Lana, as you now know, I am a fan of all things up in the air and light years from earth. I could do a blog of nothing but astronomy and galaxy pics :)

Jo, isn't b&w great. Errol, yes--you gotta watch Captain Blood. One of my favorite movies is Failsafe with henry Fonda. Great b&w movie with great directing.

Lisa, then I must have been successful, because I wanted this to be very sensory--the satin and the pops and the kiss. Yeah, let's don't forget the kiss LOL.

Melanie/mb, getting pulled in is what this poem is all about, LOL, literally in the poem and, of course, (hopefully) by the reader.

Britta, yes, life calls us to attend the routine matters of the world. And a big yes to what a simple thing like a black dress can accomplish!

sarah, as usual you sum things up perfectly--cosmic collisions in the dark. That's a great line by itslef :)

raine, thanks. Yes, some of us remember these old sounds. We're dating ourselves. My brother said once: "date yourself. No one else will."

Raven, hi! How are ya? Thanks. That stanza is the focal point of the entire poem.

Charles, ditto. No mention of a black dress can stop me from thinking of the Hollies great song. It's a kick-ass r & r song that I've always loved!

rebecca, I hadn't thought of that possibility, but perhaps she is a temptress. Poetry is open to interpretive imagination. I was mainly thinking though of how the slow dance of lovers continues as the old records were finished ... but the couple on the floor wasn't :)

wt4w, ha! yeah, I guess this could be linked to the previous post. Thanks! Cool connection.

Andrew, I've missed posting ... and thanks.

Eating, thanks for stopping by. The kiss and the hiss. It was a nice match when I wrote it. Kinda fell into place on its own.

paisley, I love noir movies, poems, etc. Hey, how many new sites do you have ROFL? You were hard to track down. Why ... Just ... etc. :)

pam, exactly! I was fusing some disparate elements, but I think it works. Muchas gracias!!!!

Deb, thanks!!! Sensual it is. Was going for a sultry piece constructed from memories of watching people dance when I was a kid.

SnoopMurph said...

I can hear the soundtrack in my head as I read. So visual and auditory all at once-love it.

Bernita said...

As snoop and y'all said.
~laughing~
Used to have a black satin dress.

Billy said...

Linda, glad you liked it. Sorry I'm such an infrequent visitor!

Bernita ... any pictures of that dress LOL?

Lane said...

The only sound is a hiss.
Ah the memories of the stylus, especially if the record was warped:-)

Great pome as always. Hope your back is better!

spacedlaw said...

Still reading...
I love your tribute to a girl's best friend.

Billy said...

Lane, hey! Yes, the back is better, and I will always have the sound of the stylus prgrammed into my brain. ("Mom! Dad! Can we get a new stereo! My music is popping!")

spacedlaw ... ROFL!!!!

Cynthia said...

HOT! You've created a Casablanca
atmosphere.

gautami tripathy said...

You took us all to olden times! Thanks!

ChrisEldin said...

Beautiful!! And you bring back memories of record playing days. The ending line is perfect.

Marja said...

Romance invaded by space. Great poem leaving me with the sound of
a hiss but no kiss.

Billy said...

Cynthia, Casablanca! I like the analogy! Thanks!

guatami, thanks. A little time travel into decades past :)

chris, it shows how we are wired to remember those sounds. Thanks. I thought the last line united everything.

Marja, "Romance invaded by space." I love it--great summary :) I guess we sometimes have to leave the kiss to the imagination.

Whirling Dervish said...

Billy,

Wow! Your poetry is just as great. I'm glad to have finally found your little space in the blogosphere- and am surprised we haven't met up before now- we seem to travel in the same circles. :)

BTW, Stoney Moss is a shared blog with me and ...deb (host/owener/whatever of Read.Write.Poem)- so some of what your admirering is hers as well! The shared creative space is nice.

WD

PS- We've linked Chapter and Verse to SM!

kj said...

i like it when a guy writes poems about love....

:)

Billy said...

WD, thanks, and I will link to Stoney Moss as soon as I finish posting this. Yes, if one surfs enough blogs, a few familiar names start to appear. (Everyone start singing "It's Small World After All" LOL.)

(I'm interested in talking more about BPD from your professional posture and may open up comments and just moderate the ones that rant against me for having the audacity to discuss a really serious illness that most shrinks won't touch (or that many therapists don't believe in).

Thanks again for your kind words about the poetry.

Billy said...

kj, thanks. There are still a few of us around LOL. A good friend once said I either wrote about God or love. A generalization, but for a while it was true. :)

Beloved Dreamer said...

billy, late but here I am. Oh, my my,you can dance with me anytime.
This was so smooth that I felt that I was gliding right into the water. Honey, you do not need a prompt or a reason for writing poetry. Just lovely. Good to have you back. You made my sweaty day.
My mind is so fried I can't think about poetry. We people up north are not able to handle this 100% weather. Our houses are just not built for it.
Keep the poems coming, I know it's hot down there too.

Keep cool-love you, Melanie

Billy said...

Melanie, your response is one of the best responses I have ever received :)

"Honey, you do not need a prompt or a reason for writing poetry."

Thank you ... and thank you again.

Yes, it is hot down here too. mid-90s. I hear the north has a really "mad" heat wave. You keep cool too :D

Casdok said...

Divine.

Billy said...

Casdok, "divine" works for me -:) Thank you!!!

Miladysa said...

Very nice Billy! :-D

Billy said...

Thanks, Miladysa! Hope you had a nice vacation!

Geraldine said...

Just stopping in to see if there's anything new at C and V. Hope all is well with you Billy.

Take care. G

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

Liquid said...

(Oo)

Leaving stones to let ya' know I've visited........again.

:)

Billy said...

Hi Liquid. You're a sweetheart for stopping by. -;)

qualcosa di bello said...

still reading...between vacations! this is quite magical & reminds me of those old movies on lazy sundays of my childhood...& of my mom getting out the old records & playing them on her phonograph...all such sweet reminisces! thank you!

Billy said...

qualcosa, for me, it was indeed a stroll down memory lane. I love old vinyl records. A luddite at heart,

99 said...

I love your last name.

Billy said...

99, I'm fond of it too. Thanks for stopping by. You have great blogs. (Why does that sound so nasty LOL ?) You like Kirk Hammett maybe?

MAN IN PAINTING said...

loved it

Billy said...

Thanks, MIP!

99 said...

Never heard of him....

Dashiell was a hero.

Thanks about my blogs, and yer right! It does sound vaguely coarse.... But, heck, I know whatcha meant.

I'm probably not going to make very much noise around here because the damn Blogger Captcha! won't show up on my Safari browser and I have to switch over to Firefox to say anything... by the time I have that all handled I've usually lost my train of thought....

Billy said...

I didn't think anyone knew who Dashiel was anymore. My cousin, who does genealogy, says we're probably related to the esteemed Mr. Hammett, which is interesting, since I started out writing mysteries. And yes, the captcha is becomeing a mess, not to mention more illegible.

Raven said...

Just thought I'd drop by and let you know that you are missed. I hope the work is going along well and that you will soon be released back into cyber world.

Billy said...

Hi, Raven! My PC was nearly terminal, so I've been at a double disadvantage. Working for clients on a deadline with agents or editors is demanding. But I'll still be lurking -:)

Lane said...

Good grief 56 (now 57) comments! Just checking up on you. Hope all is well. For some reason I've always read your surname as HamNett. Must learn to read:-)

Billy said...

Hi Lane. My PC has been really messed up, plus I still can't find much free time. Hamnet--wasn't that Shakespeare's son? And yes, not posting will really get those comment numbers up LOL. I'll try to stop by the other side of the pond soon. -:)

Sarah Hina said...

More people missing you, Billy. Not that I don't understand.

Just trying to coax you onto the dance floor again...

;)

spacedlaw said...

I have given you an award.
N.

Billy said...

Sarah, thank you. Sooner or later I'll put up a post :) The book I'm working on for a client is very intense. Hope you are well.

Spacedlaw---why thank you!!!

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I miss your work -- come back! :)

Billy said...

Andrew, I'm having blogging withdrawal, but the gas company seems to want to get paid on time. Go figure LOL. Works busy now. My client's agent has a deadline. Thanks for stopping by.

WillThink4Wine said...

Hello Billy, I thought I'd drop by to say hello and see what you've been up to. Paying the gas company! I hope the work is going well and that you're enjoying it!

So, Hello!

cargwaps said...

this is the first poem i've read that made me wish i was born earlier (so that i too would know the sound of the phonograph) :)

i love the imagery billy. hope to read more of your poems soon.

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.