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dcmarti1

The Smallest House in Georgetown

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dcmarti1

(I recently read books on John Walker and Aldrich Ames. I remembered a very small townhouse just off of P Street in Georgetown. I was only an administrative weenie with a Top Secret clearance, but it got me to thinking of Cold War era cast-offs.)

A polished red door adorns
the smallest house in Georgetown.
As bright as the brass on the door
are its darkly cataloged secrets,
shadow-bound in menacing folders
with pages trimmed in purple and black,
with threatening acronyms
strewn at top and at bottom.
Moliere, Racine, and Corneille
live in its one bedroom, untranslated.
Blue labeled whiskey -in two lead crystal
tumblers with two cubes of ice-
and a deck for Piquet
form the only silent actions
allowed the retired eagle and bear,
in a house still surely bugged,
in the smallest house in Georgetown.

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Tinker

Hi Marti,  Not being familiar with Walker and Ames I had to google.  I'm glad you gave the intro because I wouldn't have understood otherwise.  At first I read the poem without googling.  I focused on the untranslated French volumes and Piquet also French.   I actually like the sound and feel of the poem, it does a have a  mystery to it.  But googling and reading about traitors and spies gave a whole other dimension.  I wonder if somehow the connection could be made within the poem and without and intro for the uninformed like me.  Even the names inserted in the title or body of the poem, which yes I would still have to google but in a magazine or book of poetry, the intro would probably not be allowed and then I wouldn't know who or what to google.  And I believe all of your work is publishable.  Just an idea.  Easier said than done.   I love the title as is but it doesn't say spies or treason to me.  And all old buildings have their secrets, {if these walls could talk} this one just happens to have more interesting ones once I googled.   Use what helps, ignore what doesn't.  I'm just glad you are writing and sharing here.  I love reading your stuff even if I don't understand at first.

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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dcmarti1
7 hours ago, Tinker said:

Hi Marti,  Not being familiar with Walker and Ames I had to google.  I'm glad you gave the intro because I wouldn't have understood otherwise.  At first I read the poem without googling.  I focused on the untranslated French volumes and Piquet also French.   I actually like the sound and feel of the poem, it does a have a  mystery to it.  But googling and reading about traitors and spies gave a whole other dimension.  I wonder if somehow the connection could be made within the poem and without and intro for the uninformed like me.  Even the names inserted in the title or body of the poem, which yes I would still have to google but in a magazine or book of poetry, the intro would probably not be allowed and then I wouldn't know who or what to google.  And I believe all of your work is publishable.  Just an idea.  Easier said than done.   I love the title as is but it doesn't say spies or treason to me.  And all old buildings have their secrets, {if these walls could talk} this one just happens to have more interesting ones once I googled.   Use what helps, ignore what doesn't.  I'm just glad you are writing and sharing here.  I love reading your stuff even if I don't understand at first.

~~Tink

I may have assumed too much on my reader's part when I used eagle and bear for US and Soviet. It's actually 2 invented spies, now jobless, haha. I think it was TS Eliot who said, "poetry had better be difficult." Perhaps I am just opaque sometimes. :)

Thanks, as always, for reading.

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Tinker

I actually got the eagle and bear but didn't understand how it fit with the French connection.  I guess I just got hung up on the books.   

~~Judi


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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badger11
Quote

A polished red door adorns
the smallest house in Georgetown.

That's a great opening grab. a fairytale quality, though the poem goes to a darker reality (then on reflection so did folktales!)

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