Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Dancing

In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture
and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots
I have never seen a post-war Philco
with the automatic eye
nor heard Ravel's "Bolero" the way I did
in 1945 in that tiny living room
on Beechwood Boulevard, nor danced as I did
then, my knives all flashing, my hair all streaming,
my mother red with laughter, my father cupping
his left hand under his armpit, doing the dance
of old Ukraine, the sound of his skin half drum,
half fart, the world at last a meadow,
the three of us whirling and singing, the three of us
screaming and falling, as if we were dying,
as if we could never stop--in 1945--
in Pittsburgh, beautiful filthy Pittsburgh, home
of the evil Mellons, 5,000 miles away
from the other dancing--in Poland and Germany--
oh God of mercy, oh wild God.

Gerald Stern


Who wants to do a roadtrip in September? Dodge Poetry
Festival? Just let me know. There are places to meet
that would be convenient.

I heard Stern read in 2006 and loved the work and him!
He was funny and cantankerous and filled with humor
and just the love of living.

If no one wants to do the road trip, than how about the meet
up? I am seriously saving my loose change and know I will
have enough. If I go alone, I do. Takers feel free to respond
here or email.

Maggie's been bitten--
she wants to hear the written
words spoken clearly
from those she loves dearly
at a little gathering in Waterloo
Village, never knowing who
will be there to open up the locked
corners of the mind, like a docked
boat set free from its tether,
let loose to roam, perhaps never
coming back to that marina, that dock--
the very act of loosening enough
to save her from the everyday fluff.

Aye, yi yi...bad bad lonely thing.

Strange. I didn't miss the computer at all
when I was gone. My daughter and her friend
checked their MySpace things and read their email,
but I could have cared less. Now, I care a whole
bunch. I hate being lonely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Talia said...

Gerald Stern came to my college a few years back for our annual Wolfson Awards ceremony. He did the judging and did a reading. He also came to our poetry class and spoke. He was a lot of fun. And he's what, like 80? I liked his book "American Sonnets."

Maggie said...

I like American Sonnets, too. I bought it when I was at Dodge in 06 after hearing him read a selection from the book.