New York City skyline at night

Poetry

 

 


Joel Allegretti


The Belles of Grey Gardens

I'm going to get naked in just a minute, so you better watch out!
You can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape.
My God, my muscles! They're gone, with this soft life.
I think my days at Grey Gardens are limited.

You can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape.
This is the revolutionary costume. I never wear this in East Hampton.
I think my days at Grey Gardens are limited.
It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present.

This is the revolutionary costume. I never wear this in East Hampton.
Horrors! Somebody's removing the books from my room!
It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present.
I only cared about three things: the Catholic Church, swimming and dancing.

Horrors! Somebody's removing the books from my room!
I'm mad about animals, but raccoons and cats become a little boring.
I only cared about three things: the Catholic Church, swimming and dancing.
God, if you knew how I felt; I'm ready to kill!

I'm mad about animals, but raccoons and cats become a little boring.
My God, my muscles! They're gone, with this soft life.
God, if you knew how I felt; I'm ready to kill!
I'm going to get naked in just a minute, so you better watch out!

 

This pantoum consists entirely of dialogue spoken by Edith "Big Edie" Beale and Edith "Little Edie" Beale in the documentary "Grey Gardens" (1976), directed by Albert and David Maysles.

Celeste at the Celeste

The blackbirds are primed
          for departure.
It's chalk and charcoal-pencil
          weather again.

Celeste gazes out the window
          at the sheared lawn,
Pictures a jade lake
          on a meadow's lip.

A Ming vase makes her think
          of Montreal: that groan–
throated Québécois who sang of
          Chinese tea and oranges.

A dirge played in bell tones
          isn't a dirge.
It's a newborn's cradle song
          with a crestfallen third.

Celeste's fingertips prance out
          a rosy little waltz.
Sometimes fairy chimes
          are the thing we need.

 

 

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