• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 03

Portraiture in Motion (Circa 1900)

view a picture
-imperfect façade
of a popular poet posing

poetically for contemporaries
and posterity.

The subject is standing there
against the beige wall
hugging herself
against the cold
hard glare of attention
from her nearby male admirer.

(Their secrets
        are artworks
in the making).

A top brand cigarette hangs
from her nude lips
like a downspout
from a beautiful


Portraiture in Motion (Circa 1900)

Periodically, she
inhales deeply
while unfolding her arms
to clasp that thin cylinder
between chopstick fingers.

She then proceeds to throw
unspoken caution to the wind
-less air in cottony cumulus clouds,

making a passive smoker
of the proficient pre-war portraitist
who is seated there before her
in silent, professional

pierce the vapour
suspended there in the studio’s stale air,

guiding a practiced hand
past line after line

towards the finishing stroke.