Where Do You Go?
Where do you go when you go
to the movies? Here, the cut-off
screen won’t tell you which film
the audience is watching. Maybe
you will fall in love with one of the
actors, gasp, laugh or cry because
the images feel real as real.
Where do you go if you don’t like
the film? Or if it’s not about the film,
but that you are on a date in this
opulent cave of a setting?
Don’t sit down in those empty seats;
not yet. There’s so much more to explore
in this painting. Besides, more seats wait
for you if you take the stairs beckoning
in sultry light, behind the velvet curtains.
First consider the usherette, the real star
of the painting. Where has she gone under those
three lights, chin propped in her hand?
Look at her in her military uniform
her blond hair matching the mottled yellows
on the wall, and that shadow dripping below
the triumvirate of lights, touching her shoulder.
Oh, of course we know she is Hopper’s wife,
and their marital quarrels are no secret.
He criticizes her, and she gets back
at him writing cryptic comments on his sketches.
Things like the doorway goes in like a tomb.
Did he ask her to wear her sexiest shoes?
Or was that her idea? Is that all she’s allowed
of the glamour and fame she imagines in her dreams?
If you sit in the comfort of one of these theatre seats,
illusion arranged around you, tell me, where do you go?
How are you going to tell her story?
How does it draw out your own?
Kitty Jospé has authored five books and her work has appeared in numerous local and national journals. Bilingual in French/English, (MA French Literature, NYU; worked in Belgium for the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) she retired from teaching French in 2006 to pursue an MFA (Pacific University, OR). She gives tours in both languages as docent at the Memorial Art Gallery; lectures on language and art as tools for deeper understanding and offers weekly poetry appreciation courses at the public library since February 2008.
The Ekphrastic Review
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