Edouard Manet, The Railway (1873)
Francine would be wearing her diamonds,
I thought. She would glide into
the room, giraffe-like, speaking
volubly. Everyone would form cliques
whispering, and she would’ve forgotten
Elena. Elena, with her big blue bow,
looking at the noisy train.
I’m just sitting here, in a blue dress,
white lacy cuffs, reading a book,
the dog asleep on my lap. Elena,
I smell thick smoke. Oh look, across
the street those gargoyles, and those
saints, and all those people walking
through a tunnel below a bridge.
Outside the Gare Saint-Lazare,
feeling the optimism of the morning
and the world coming and going.
No one giving me the runaround,
not Francine! Away from hysteria,
just baby-sitting you, Elena,
and watching the gargoyles.
Prompt: Hey guys do you realise the inner monologue that’s going on inside you? Those are basically your thoughts, right? You think about another person and this monologue’s going on, about how she is offending you and how you feel offended and how you’re not showing it but you’re thinking it. Nothing and no one is innocent. So look at this painting (or another one if you wish) and write a poem based on an inner monologue. You want to know what I’m thinking right now? Actually I’m just thinking how I am going to make stuff up for the poems I’ll be writing in July. Guess I’ll be winging it.