Regardez-moi!: A Villanelle by Michael Cantor

Michael Cantor is my poetry sibling, in that both our collections recently were published by Able Muse Press.  I've long been an admirer of Michael's sharp wit and his way with poetic form.  Today I thought I'd share a delightful poem of his about a pair of sneakers far more chic than anything I could scare up for a photo shoot.

Buying Sneakers
The designer’s iconic plaid on this canvas high top lace-up sneaker ($275) is hand sprayed to give it a slight degradé effect.  
(Advertisement in the New York Times)

The look I want is slightly dégradé;
aloof and elegant, yet with a flair
that hints of darkness in an offhand way;
exquisite, yes, but not too recherché,
and at the same time, more than ordinaire.
That look!  I want it slightly dégradé,
just right to make the scene in St. Tropez,
or stir up gossip of an old affaire
with hints of darkness and the offhand way
that one once murmured, je suis désolée,
and left a lover twisting in the air.
The look is wan, and jeune, and dégradé.
Now that my Nikes have become passé
I need a soupçon of aggrieved despair
that hints of darkness in an offhand way,
so show me something that is distingué,
that cries regardez-moi , and makes you dare
to look. And want me slightly dégradé!
I hint at darkness in an offhand way.


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