Friday, September 25, 2009

Edward Hopper’s "Room in New York" (1932)

Evening deepening.
He’d slumped, exhausted,
Into the comfort
Of the stuffed chair.
Then leans forward
To pretend keen interest,
Devouring the p.m. newspaper,
Already a relic of time lost,
The flip of a nickel
To the corner newsboy.
Intently, he
The Babe’s latest
Or the little mayor’s
Brooklynesque speech
Or another
“Cannery Idles 300”
As he silently
To a freeze-frame stop.
Anything to avoid
The emptiness
Of the closed door.

She, too,
Taking refuge in words
And notes,
Toys with ivoried
Sheets of music,
A Portuguese sonnet
In reverse.
A song, or movie,
Even an automat
Anything to escape
The room of her day.
A half-turn away
Knows the half-expected,
The fully hoped for
Has dissipated
Into another
New York night.

In the museum,
We look through
The curtain-less
At the separation
Of desires spoken
Yet unmet,
Understood, yet
And know
The title
Should have been
The Red Dress.
Room in New York (1932), Edward Hopper, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska


L.L. Barkat said...

So much to love here. I'll just share this...

"flip of a nickel
To the corner newsboy"

and the poignancy of the observations about the room and the door and the dress.

katdish said...


Did you write that?

That was awesome!