Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère

Édouard Manet, 1882


CHARLOTTE (Off Screen): I’m stuck. Does it get easier?

BOB: No, yes, it does…

(Sofia Coppola, “Lost in Translation”)


Caught between geometry and eternity

laced by fine fabric, cotton and holes,

choker and paste,

she does not say anything.


It is, of course, a presaged cubist ploy.

The reflection is one of disjunction,

almost as if the artist is conniving

with the chandeliered candlelight


in order to multifacet the facts.

Her reverie drifts

around locked doors between hotel rooms,

each with no connection to each,


each with its own concealed presence,

ill defined fellows, fixating,

conversing with a figment of her image

possessed by another.


She is empty among the full bottles.

Her absent gaze has no sparkle

wired into that concentration

that is the beginning of grief


and ends in the ellipsis

of dialog and understanding,

inside space and lost exteriors.

It does not get any easier.


Link to painting: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère – The Courtauld