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37.A Dancer's Life
The lights in the theater fail. The long racks
Of costumes abandoned by the other dancers
Trouble Celeste. The conductor asks
If she is sad because autumn is coming on,
But when autumn comes she is merely pregnant and bored.
On her way back from the holidays, a man
Who appears to have no face rattles the door
To her compartment. How disgusting, she thinks;
How disgusting it always must be to grow old.
Dusk falls, and a few drops of rain.
On the train window trembles the blurred
Reflection of her own transparent beauty,
And through this, beautiful ruined cities passing,
Dark forests, and people everywhere
Pacing on lighted platforms, some
Beating their children, some apparently dancing.
The costumes of the dancers sway in the chill darkness.
Now sinking into sleep is like sinking again
Into the lake of her youth. Her parents
Lean from the rail of a ferryboat waving, waving,
As the boat glides farther out across the waves.
No one, it seems, is meeting her at the station.
The city is frozen. She warms herself
In the pink and scented twilight of a bar.
The waiter who serves her is young. She nods assent.
The conversation dies in bed. Later,
She hurries off to rehearsal. In the lobby,
Dizzy still with the weight of her own body,
She waits, surrounded by huge stills of herself
And bright posters announcing events to come.
Her life—she feels it closing about her now
Like a small theater, empty, without lights. read more »
38.At a Wedding
Her feet beneath her petticoat
Like little mice, stole in and out,
As if they feared the light. read more »
EYES ravished with rapture, celestially panting, what passionate bosoms aflaming with fire
Drink deep of the hush of the hyacinth heavens that glimmer around them in fountains of light;
O wild and entrancing the strain of keen music that cleaveth the stars like a wail of desire,
And beautiful dancers with houri-like faces bewitch the voluptuous watches of night. read more »
40.The Children Dancing
Away, sad thoughts, and teasing
Let other blood go freezing,
We will be wise and gay. read more »
SHE beat the happy pavement--
By such a star made firmament,
Which now no more the roof envies!
But swells up high, with Atlas even, read more »
Fling your red scarf faster and faster, dancer.
It is summer and the sun loves a million green leaves, masses of green.
Your red scarf flashes across them calling and a-calling.
The silk and flare of it is a great soprano leading a chorus read more »
THE LADY in red, she in the chile con carne red,
Brilliant as the shine of a pepper crimson in the summer sun,
She behind a false-face, the much sought-after dancer, the most sought-after dancer of all in this masquerade, read more »
ELSIE FLIMMERWON, you got a job now with a jazz outfit in vaudeville.
The houses go wild when you finish the act shimmying a fast shimmy to The Livery Stable Blues. read more »
45.My Daughter at 14, Christmas Dance, 1981
Panic in your face, you write questions
to ask him. When he arrives,
you are serene, your fear read more »
46.song and dance
do you think an old heart can't sing
do you think an old heart can't dance
with a love that belongs to spring - read more »
Nearly everyone had left that bar in the middle of winter except the
hardcore.It was the coldest night of the year, every place shut down, but
not us.Of course we noticed when she came in.We were Indian ruins.She
was the end of beauty.No one knew her, the stranger whose tribe we read more »
When Joy and Molly on the lawn
Danced bare of foot like spirits of dawn
Jessica watched in wonderment read more »
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