Friday, February 2, 2018


Descanso do modelo
The Model at Rest ~ José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior 

Ivory is a prop for hands
posed to speak where music lounges.
He tobacco puffs a few paint strokes
across the canvas bragging about art
and the value of a signature.

She’d lived enough delusion to know if dreams
smell of cheap cologne, you take the dollar
and smile while he jaw spends his dime.

©Susie Clevenger 2018


  1. Wow, you sure know how to handle those dreams. This is so very good, Susie!

  2. This is a fascinating look at ego, social constructs, and the hands-on creation of art, or its attempt anyway--and the body of the model offered up in complete disillusion, yet also comfortably, is not the least of its symbols. I was going to single out the opening lines, but I find the conclusion just as deft and intense--an excellent poem for those who have found out the hard way that very few human experiences are not transactional. Or so I read, anyway. Thanks so much for bringing your words to the 55, Susie.

  3. A brilliant write and how clever your brushstrokes.
    (She) is very wise and knowing those egos, probably bored out of her skull,
    Anna :o]

  4. A brilliant summation and capture in the closing lines. Humans are objects and commodities - that is the essence of how we think and consequently act. A fair price to be paid? Dressed or un - painted as art or as needs for market day, this is a scathing piece. Howl on.

  5. I love when a poem and a photo work this well together. I always try to scroll down to the words before focusing on the image, and this time was very pleased to go back to see it and notice that the poetry had already showed me what it was.

    I wonder what this would read like from the point of view of the painter...

  6. This really tells the whole story of the big artist's ego... like an ego trip and #metoo moment not yet said... the value of a signature, and the trickle economy all in 55 words.

  7. Your words sum up the image perfectly, Susie. And it captures well the feel for the sentiments of such a moment in time.

  8. the male gaze is rife with issues of dominance, control, subjugation, and other synonyms of power. I like how you provide her with the self-awareness to keep what is hers, allowing her to retain some measure of direction - all while in the context and flavor of the Gilded Age