Thursday, June 28, 2012

Melodramatic Sestina

You never quite know where the Sestina form will take you.  The following over-the-top example shows what happens when you let it take the lead.  

Melodramatic Sestina

First glance she sent him with a sigh,
responded he with cheerful gleam,
she flicked an olive in his lap,
pretended she was sipping wine,
and fluttered lashes black and false
while he blushed high, with pounding heart.

He faniced he had won her heart
with little more than groan and sigh;
he failed to note that she was false
to her table mate, whose eyes a-gleam,
was more than sloshed on mid-priced wine,
while food was dropping in his lap.

Taking the olive from his lap
our hero ate, stared at her false
grey eyes with longing, but like whines
from the throat of a slaughtered goat, his sighs
stopped in their tracks at the sudden gleam
in the lady’s eyes as her table mate’s fals-

etto voice exposed his lady’s false-
hoods (brushing food from off his lap);
they’d dull of any man his gleam,
they’d break of any man his heart
and with a deep and painful sigh
in her face he splashed his dregs of wine.

The lady screamed, began to whine
in notes that diners round knew false.
The two men rose, with each a sigh
(dropping their napkins from their laps)
plunged a steak knife in the heart
of the other; blood soon dulled the gleam

of the steel.  Out of their eyes, the gleam
soon went while plates, forks, chairs, wine
toppled; unfamiliar fear gripped the heart
of the lady, whose wanton, false
deceptive acts fell in her lap.
Appalled, she crumpled with a sigh. 

Don’t diminish the gleam in living the false,
spilling Life’s wine in Fate’s shallow lap;
to splinter the heart, start with a sigh.

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