Monday, October 18, 2010

Catch Them If You Can

Lately I've been waking up in the dark of the night with a brain incubating with words. Half-formed rhymes dance tantalizingly overhead and threaten to fly away unless I commit them to immediate memory. For a few intense minutes, I attempt various mnemonic devices (Create an acronym! Build an association chain!) in the hope of staying in my warm bed, but eventually I shuffle off to my office and pit myself in a typing race to catch the winged little creatures before they fade to nothingness.

Here's a poem that came to me recently at 4am and was complete by the time the sun came up three hours later. I may embroider it for an upcoming project I'm thinking of doing on Hollywood - I like the idea of stitching words like "Balenciaga" and "Prius" and "ahi"; they are so redolent of our 21st century narrative.

* * * * *

In Search Of An Ending

She sat in the penthouse bar,
Stylishly wrapped against cold
A capelet adorning her shoulders
A vision for all to behold.

Lace adorning her torso,
(Zac Posen last season, on sale),
Her shoes, Louboutin, half off,
(Via Gilt Groupe's biweekly email).

Neiman's had sold her the handbag,
A Balenciaga, in black,
She felt ill when she thought of the price tag,
And was thinking of taking it back.

The credit card bills were mounting,
The lease on her Prius was due,
The rent on her studio had increased,
Her landlord was threatening to sue.

The bartender reached for her cocktail,
Warm from sitting so long,
She gave him a look, and he left it,
She needed it there to feel strong.

Her Hollywood dreams were still pending,
Auditions had not gone that well,
She had to curtail all the spending
Or it was back home to Tampa to dwell.

The business men wolfed down their ahi,
And knocked back their Grey Goose on ice,
And burped when they thought no one saw them,
And leered at her over their rice.

Her God-given red lips sighing,
She blinked, and surveying the room,
Shook off her creeping exhaustion,
And prayed luck would come to her soon.

(Photo credits: First image, me; second image here; fourth image here; fifth image here; sixth image via; last image, painting by Christian Schad, 1924)


pve design said...

oh, do tell us more.
wonderfully caught words to fit those images.

Debra said...

I frequently wake up in the wee hours of the morning- those are, at times, my most creative moments.
This is delightful and I can already see the words beautifully stitched onto simple burlap. Do share the result with us when the time is right. Lovely~

helen tilston said...

This peom made me smile and also brought a little tear. I love how you have inserted the beautiful items of clothing between the verses.
It will make a superb piece of art.Cant wait to see it in stitches.
May the words and wisdom continue.
Helen Tilston

Laura said...

wow, you have much more productive sleeps than I do! Is that first photo Soho House? I think your story is quite apt for that venue...

DM said...

Seriously LBG you amaze me! You're our own Emily Dickenson.

Have you read Spencer Reece's "A Clerk's Tale?" Something I also find relatable...

Jane said...

Great poem. That is a lot of sewing though.

Why not a little hand calligraphed gilt edged leather covered book?

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

This is fabulous and poignant and fun, perfect fodder for a little stitch witchery. I can relate to waking at night thinking I'll commit something to memory for the next day. Sadly, it rarely sticks ; )
Oh, Soho house -- so dreamy, sigh.
I did a little post on it a few weeks back.
Do stop by Nero sometime.
Looking forward to the next poetic installment.
Cheers, Alcira

Anonymous said...

"And prayed luck would come to her soon." Brilliant. You are an amazingly creative person, and I so enjoy reading your blog. It is witty, artistic, stylish and entertaining without drifting into Too-Too-ville like some of the more precious blogs seem to do.
"A Bloomsbury Life" is always an enjoyable place to visit.

24 Corners said...

I agree with pve...please let us know what happens to the poor girl, I have a lump in my throat for her.
Why does this type of brilliance always have to come in the middle of the night?? Is it because the the world is finally silent then and the creative recesses of the brain can finally be heard? So frustrating...but I heartily commend you for getting up (!), I'm always letting the comfy & cozy win out and then regret it in the morning...when the brilliant (yes, sometimes I think they are) thoughts have drifted away in the dark.

I'll be waiting for the sequel...and to see how you stitch this wonderful bit of genius up!
xo J~

Maya Einziger said...

Amazing poem...but even more amazing is how did you capture a photo of the Soho House? I thought that was a no-no.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

To All: Thank you so much for your supportive words. They mean a great deal. I try very hard to live up to the high standards of my readers!

Maya: First of all, I'm honored you're here! Second of all, I got it via their website. Don't worry, darling, no rules broken. :)

donna baker said...

Saw you in the latest issue of House Beautiful.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Donna Baker: Yes, that was so fun! I almost dropped the magazine when I saw it. :)

vicki archer said...

Lack of sleep is serving you well Lisa.....that is a wonderful poem and your observations are perfect, xv.

Chedva @Rooms and Words said...

So glad you resisted the warm bed. (I woke up with a story in mind last week and since then I've been trying to understand the key words I wrote on a sticky note at 3 am)

Kathryn said...

I liked that especially with the photos too.So you will have to keep getting up to catch the butterflies p

Mary said...

Just found your blog yesterday - and was rewarded this morning with your poignant poem.

Kathryn said...

Oh,how strange.I found your blog via Jayne Ferst whom I met in a coffee shop one Sunday morning.Did you mean my blog at
That is my original one but when I met Jayne I started one on blogspot with just a few of my poems and some limericks.I can't stop writing now!
I may get like you getting up at 3 am to write an idea down.

Dianne said...

Bravo Lisa! Once again you amaze me. I should stop being so surprised. This blog is my favorite stop. We should all be so creative in our sleep. :)

Miss Whistle said...

This is the time to catch words and fleeting thoughts, in the times just between sleeping and waking.

I love your poem and the picture of dawn, the first one, at the top of the post. Stunning.

Miss Whistle

meenal said...

Oh Lisa...what a tale you have are a woman of immense talent and a girl after my own heart!!

Megan Taylor said...

Dear Lisa,

I know exactly how this feels!

While I was in graduate school studying creative writing, sometimes my poetry workshop did not start until 4 pm. After early morning coffee and reading, I would take a long bike ride around the city before rushing off to my late afternoon class.

Most times, I found myself cycling around the beautiful and peaceful Golden Gate Park. Between the rhythm of the biking motion and the dance of sprinklers around me, I would come up with melodic lines of poetry in my head.

It then became a RACE to get home to jot each word down (I eventually started to bring a pen and paper along with me for the ride) - but it wasn't too hard to remember my "songs." With the repetitive motions of the ride and the often rhyming stanzas, I would just say it over and over again in my head. That's how the Elizabethan's did it, right?

I wrote some of my favorite poems this way! Lots to bring to poetry workshop :)


Emily said...

You are like no other! This is crazy good! I will be getting the latest HB. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Maira Kalman's embroideries in her fantastic new book "The Principles of Uncertainty"? I saw them today and thought of you.


Julie Anne Rhodes said...

I'd say I'm sorry you can't sleep, but that would be a lie. Beautiful and scathingly humorous words.

Angie Muresan said...

I love it! You must do these at least once a month, Lisa.

By the way, why do men burp and think no one sees them? It's utterly gross!


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