By Joseph Hesch

“Touch me,” they say and
sway, purring, beneath his fingertips,
consuming their warmth.

“Touch me,” they say and
sway close-eyed to his words that
knead their needy souls.

 “Touch me,” they say and
sway in laughter at their Fool’s
self-deprecate jest.  

“Touch me,” he pleads
to his swaying obsessions,
who merely echo:

“Touch me.”

My colleague Mark Kerstetter is wrangling this weekend’s Poetics gig at dVersePoets Pub, offering a prompt based on the art work of the Italian Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico. A little research into this artist and I found Le Vestali: La Statua Si Muove (The Vestal Virgins: The Statue Moves). The rest is a Hesch slant look at the art and reversal of roles.

17 thoughts on “Untouched

  1. haha – sorry that i'm laughing but this reminded me when i was at the vatican museums in rome last week and all day watching naked men…love your hesch slant look on the arts joe…smiles

  2. err…sorry got distracted by claudias comment…lol…nice take on this joe…from his more classical period i take it…oh the obsessions are in the breeze…blowing this way and taht…nicely spun

  3. Joe, this is provocative. There seems to be a recurring theme or sensibility I'm seeing in the de Chirico poems that I might term 'distance' – either humanity as departed (haunted, ghosts) or an unsettling juxtaposition of presence and absence – the flesh next to the statuary. Your poem, if I read it correctly, seems to be a kind of mirror, a folding back on itself. The artist yearns and can only "touch" his yearning, which isn't touching at all. it's poignant, and very deftly done.

  4. reminds me of the Phallic Rock in Molokai -http://www.hawaiiweb.com/molokai/sites_to_see/PhallicRock.htmbottom line, you touch the phallus of the statue, you are no longer barren??

  5. It's the look but don't touch thing again Joe! Look, but touching is way over the boundary! Really like the thrill of the "what if?" though, one of them might take a huge leap of faith and try for a little snuggle, right?! hehee

  6. "touch me" they say and sway…I could say that line aloud over and over…there is so much actual pleasure in reading these words aloud…you have definitely stirred the sense with this response…dig it…

  7. I went with a surrealistic take on the prompt and one of their tenets is to juxtaposition things that don't necessarily go together. Love the oxymoronic sense of vestal virgins/touch me.

  8. Joe, you tease! Sorry…couldn't resist! Again, you take the prompt, and you stamp HESCH loud and clear atop all others. This image caught my eye as well, and after enjoying your write, I will be forever thankful I chose differently. Did you hear that echo? 😉

  9. There's definitely a certain glazed obsessive look to those women, focusing presumably on some miraculous, entertaining antics from the statue similar to those ascribed to the 'he' in your poem–I can definitely see how you got to this take…not that I would have before you wrote it, though. An interesting look at what we do with/to our obsessive love objects, and ourselves. Also, that last stanza is just about as alienated as one could get–landing it dead center in the surreal spectrum for me. Another subtle, understated and eloquent piece, my friend.

  10. Your refrain fades beautifully as it fails to reach live ears in the dead air vaccum. La métaphysique is so present here.Its claustrophobic and exquisite…corpse (surrealist joke)You write so well and set a great example.

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