Poetry / Uncategorized

Dandy Man’s Dream

Impeccable and

pinstriped

at the cotton candy machine

with an aristocratic

turn of the wrist

watch check

late train

flecking a speck of dust

off his yellow cuffs

He calculates

percentage points

interest up at the World Bank

It’s all about

the cult of self

French pastries

and ruffles on the shirt

Papa with the pink tie

vanity time on the

chain watch

gleaming gold

blinds fools.

He card sharks his way

round the corner

with a tip of his top hat

he is living that

dandy man’s dream.

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26 thoughts on “Dandy Man’s Dream

  1. Lana, you paint a terrific picture of the man here with such wonderful small details building up the image. Great turn of phrases such as

    ‘He card sharks his way

    round the corner’

    I have a feeling that he’s about to meet his match around that corner…and all the finery will come array.

    • Oh Pauline, he is quite the character. He isn’t a real person, I actually came up with this one after teaching a 5th grade social studies class where we examined the verses of Yankee Doodle. I actually had no idea that macaroni meant anything other than pasta, ha ha. I never questioned why the man stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni, lol. So the first image I had was Yankee Doodle, then when I searched dandy man, I discovered that there are actually men in a Congo subculture who are very poor, eat little, live meekly, and use what money they have to buy these amazing, expensive clothes. It’s incredible, so I combined modern and historical elements for this guy. 😀

      • So I ended up getting a bit of a history lesson myself as a result of this poem Lana. I know the song from my earliest school years and, like you, never questioned the whole macaroni thing. Isn’t it amazing what kids accept! I also didn’t know about the Congolese men – also amazing! Now I see your dandy more clearly 🙂 Thanks for educating me!

      • Very welcome, Pauline. It is interesting that we never questioned macaroni as kids, as if it is the most natural thing to tuck in one’s hat, lol. The good thing about my job is that I get to go back to school everyday myself, ha ha!

  2. Your descriptors tell me all I need to know, and it comes down to this: “It’s all about / the cult of self.” These guys were around in the days of Yankee Doodle and macaroni, and they’re still around, living large off Papa’s hand-me-down money, albeit wearing today’s fads. Well captured, Lana. 🙂

  3. Awesome poem! I´ve seen some documentaries about these dandy men from the Congo, it´s amazing to what lengths they go to achieve that look, especially under these circumstances. No one meeting them on a city street would imagine that they actually live in nothing mire substantial than a tin-roof hut!

  4. Thank you for explaining of Congo sub culture, it is very true! I have heard of this Congo story before. It was a great poem!

      • even in the west, they come here and they do same. you see them in the hot summer weather in a big suite and tie, and you just wonder, are these people not not or what? Congolese, they love buying suits and ties hahaha

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