Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 1 , July 2015


Walk as though being followed by three men

Yve Louis

  1     movie 
  Click! Sharp as ice picks spiking hold in verglas, 
  her stilettos strike frozen pavement . . . (Better 
  she was anywhere now but on Glinkastrasse, 
  those midnight shadow-shapes closing behind.) 
  O, why did she leave Berliner Ensemble alone! 
  And why is she walking the longer way home? 
  Clink! clink! the pick-beat of fright hitting faster, 
  clink! into ice—the dark, your own racing heart. 
  No. Wait. See? She’s flashed the perfect weapon. 
  The stiletto that freeze-frames, heel against night. 
  ‘Vile rapist-slasher-thugs!’  And she’s spun, virago, 
  braced to fight . . . huh? Just actors? a hired chorus? 
  Ah, but it’s the masks. It’s the channelled voices             
      —Hauptmann     Weiss     Brecht—
  it’s the line they lip-sync. Of all lines, it’s the one 
  that must hold, or lose, her. Be aware, only be aware. 
  2 . . . and star 
  Segue, a sunny spring day in the Third City 
  of the Arts, New South Wales, Australia. Fronting 
  the new shoe boutique, hand scribed in multi- 
  lined texta, the whiteboard pitch insinuates: 
  Walk as though you’re being followed by 3 men. 
  Well, of course. (Isn’t there some echo there?) 
  And now the smell of coffee, wafting, narcotic 
  from the Paris end of town . . . and right on cue 
  a busker on accordion with his cover of 
  Je t’aime . . . Tu es la vague, moi l’île nue . . .    
  Click, click, o dance those heels, sway those hips 
  Gainsbourg, Clayderman, Aznavour are close behind.