The Conversation In The Drawing Room Poem by Weldon Kees

The Conversation In The Drawing Room

Rating: 2.9

—That spot of blood on the drawing room wall,
No larger than a thumbnail when I looked a moment ago,
Is spreading, Cousin Agatha, and growing brighter.

Nonsense. The oriole warbles in the sunlight.
The fountains gush luxuriantly above the pool.
The weather is ideal: on the paths a sheen
Of summer provides a constant delight.
I am thinking of affiliating with a new theosophist group.

—Once you could hide it with a nickel.
Now it strangely assumes the shape and size of a palm,
And puts out fingers, Cousin Agatha. Look, examine it!

Some aberration of the wallpaper, no doubt.
Did you have an omelette for lunch, and asparagus?
Mrs. Pisgah’s husband spoke from the beyond during the séance
Last night at Madame Irani’s. He seemed to have a cold.
The tamborine did not function with its usual zest.

—And a wrist, Cousin Agatha, and an arm!
Like those maps in a cinema that spread
Like wind blowing over a field of wheat, Cousin Agatha!

I have warned you, Hobart, about reading The Turn of the Screw
And that story of Balzac’s, whatever the name of it is,
Just before retiring. They always have a decidedly bad effect upon you.
I believe I will put another aspirin in the lily’s vase.
And now I must go to take my nap in the sunroom.

—Cousin Agatha, it moves like a fish, wet,
Wet like a fish, becomes a moving thing
That spreads and reaches from the wall!

I cannot listen to you any more just now, Hobart.
Kindly speak to Marie about the place cards for this evening.
Ah, there is the oriole again; how beautiful the view
From this window!—Yet why, one wonders, must Hobart begin
Gasping and screaming in such a deplorable fashion
There in the drawing room? It is scarcely considerate.
Youthful animal spirits, one supposes, combined
With a decided taste for the macabre. Where is the barbital?
Marie can never learn to leave it here, by the incense burner.
Ah, now he has stopped and only thrashes about, rather feebly, on the floor.
It is a beautiful afternoon; I will get up about three-fifteen.
Everything is blissfully quiet now; I am ready for sleep.

Weldon Kees

Weldon Kees

Nebraska / United States
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