Monday, April 4, 2011

CHARLES SIMIC SITTING IN THE CHEAP SEATS OF MY DREAMS


It would appear to be
either a rundown vaudevillian/
burlesque theater, Poughkeepsie
or Buffalo, NY, circa 19-twenty-something,

or maybe an old, black and white,
“recorded live before a studio
audience” style television program;

part “Honeymooners,”
“Days Of Our Lives,” and
German expressionist cinema
consisting almost entirely of various
stock caricatures and other tragi-comic
grotesqueries of the perverse
simultaneously hurling out hyper-dramatic
dialogue at no one in particular.

They orate, pontificate
and gesticulate, magnificently,
without ever seeming to be aware
of each other’s existence.

One of them is dressed as a World War I
Prussian Military commander, complete with
tall, shiny boots, walrussy handle bar
and singularly spiked helmet.

Another is, most likely, supposed to be
somebody’s booga-booga idea of an ancient
tribal shaman or witchdoctor.

Still another, wearing a bra and panties
and a thin silk cord running from his neck to the heel
of the high-heel shoe on his only remaining foot,
masturbates, dreamily, into the long shadow
of his nightly near-death excursion.

A chorus of mutts and street urchins
waits, attentively, for its cue (or a scrap
of food to fight over, perhaps).

And way in the back,
in the darkest and cheapest of cheap seats,
the lone, cigar smoking audience member
smacks out a slow and clamorous

CLAP!

CLAP!

CLAP!

CLAP!

-Jason Ryberg, 2010

2 comments:

  1. Quite a cast! I am lost in the scene...and the ending is well "sounded" - kind of a great pause or end to a strange situation...

    I like the grunge dark scene - I've been enjoying your cirque-de-la-poet lately - the wild scenes animalistic and literary venues...

    Things I want to do to your poem:
    before Poughkeepsie I want to put "in"
    I want to move the word style up to the black and white or take it out
    I want to put mustache after walrussy
    I would condense the high heel sentence and remove "heel of the"

    xo

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