trompe l'oeil

trompe l’oeil
By Shawn Misener
Dropped into France with a cosmic vacuous THUD, slowly reaching to awareness to find an old friend married to an asshole. Their baby in hand, glasses knocked off from the distracted head, there is no money in the wallet and no wallet in the pocket. Unable to find a phone to call mom and beg methodically for money.
Venture outside and see the familiar hill that was supposed to be in Prague and realize that all foreign lands are the same if you haven’t been to them. All of the record shops are empty or clutching at straws. Obsess to ghostly women about having to be here nearly blind. A statue of a rearing horse behind a fuzzy pink park bench materializes again in front of the ascending grass.
Wake up on the south side of some declining city and say “At least my glasses are fine.” A familiar woman laughs and slips on her dress, heading to work.

0 thoughts on “trompe l'oeil

  1. “Dropped into France with a cosmic vacuous THUD…” like the poem itself onto the reader’s dreamscape which says to me: ‘we most often prefer what we know over the unfamiliar, even if it’s not as fru-fru-pretty.’ Once again Misener proves a master of adjectives. I feel the baby “in hand” in the 1st paragraph will grow up to be the Whooshay (any truth to that?). The whole piece, I thought, had vivid/imaginative scenery. I particularly liked that part: “A statue of a rearing horse behind a fuzzy pink park bench materializes again in front of the ascending grass.” (I’ve heard about those kinda things popping up in San Francisco). Since my French is so awful (I took Spanish and German in school), I wasn’t able to tie in the meaning of the title ‘trompe l’oelil’ to the rest of the poem…but it reminded me of my Trompe le’monde Pixies album–I’m gonna have to find that sucker now and dust it off for ‘all the record shops [that] are empty or clutching at straws’. One more thing that i noticed…the two sentence fragments at the beginning…that’s a technique some might be ‘anal’ about using, or frown upon, but i think it’s constructive to getting those cobwebbed cogs of the readers’ minds turning (changing it up a little!) Thanks for sharing this piece, Misener, I’d love to get a hold of your next chapbook!

  2. hey Quasimofo- what be your name? I’m just curious. You write like somebody I know. . .
    “trompe l’oeil” means “trick of the eye” and refers to a style of painting that fools the viewer into seeing three dimensions where there are only two. . . the pixies were a favorite of mine in high school, especially the immortal. . . shit, what was the name of the album with “wave of mutilation” on it?
    There’s no Whooshay in here. . . this was just a dream I had. This piece, however poorly written, was a first draft as I lay in bed minutes after waking up. No rewrites, though it probably needs one. . .
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. I think Halifax is right..the name of that album is Doolittle. I’ve heard a remake version of “Wave of Mutilation” on the ‘Pump up the Volume’ soundtrack (not bad..Leonard Cohen, I think). I also like Pixie’s Surfer Rosa album which has “Where is my mind?”..something i relate to everyday.
    Real name? ..Mike Snyder.
    Let me know who this other writer is so i can chop off their head…THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! ..just kiddin’.
    Trompe L’oeil…Trick of the eye…thanks. no rewrites necessary.

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