Proust at Blackstones Bar

1 min read
It is the madeleine that gives him away.
Well, that and the silk cravat
pinned like a butterfly to his stiff white collar.
His tragedy stands across the room,
blue-T against sun-licked skin,
flexing a muscle as if bored by everything
but his own beauty.
Marcel has gone the wrong way
in time, forwarding toward the future.
He sits in the darkness
of this bar, nostrils trying to place
whatever it is that is not champagne,
and pretending to be entranced by the folds
of the drape, falling like the grief of the Madonna’s robe,
as Blue-T leans into his beer with the disdain of the Comtesse Greffulhe
and for a moment Marcel feels not so alone
as if this world is not that different from his own,
where even those who are outcast
can feel superior to something.
But tonight the Apollo who meets his glance
sees him as the lesser man, ridiculous
with a camellia in his buttonhole.
Time cannot save him, whether he goes backwards or forward,
for what he wants most is what will always betray him.
“It is better to dream your life than to live it,” he once said.
So he sits and waits, for memory
to take him where he has never been.

Mark Evan Chimsky

Mark Evan Chimsky is a Portland, Maine-based poet and playwright. His poetry and essays have appeared in Poetry for Ukraine, The Jewish Literary Journal, Kind Over Matter, Bullets into Bells, Wild Violet, The Maine Sunday Telegram, The Oakland Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Xanadu, Mississippi Review, The Cincinnati Judaica Review, and The Three Rivers Poetry Journal. Upcoming poetry will be appearing in The Healing Muse and The Sunlight Press. He is also a recipient of the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award as New/Emerging Poet.

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