Saturday, February 18, 2012

School vacation begins this week, and I'll be taking a brief sojourn south; so if you don't hear from me assume that I am fitfully sleeping or walking in watery sunshine or talking too much, etc. This morning, while drinking my coffee, I came across this passage in Barbara Pym's novel Jane and Prudence: "The poet walked quickly away, while the young woman who had admired him, after a regretful glance after him, stood rather hopelessly at a request bus stop. Perhaps she had hoped that they might stroll to a pub together or continue their conversation--if such it had been--walking round the square. But once outside the magic circle the writers became their lonely selves, pondering on poems, observing their fellow men ruthlessly, putting people they knew into novels; no wonder they were without friends."

Bargain Shopper

Dawn Potter

I miss you, Jilline, though stuck in this frozen so-called spring
I don’t picture you regretting my grim haunts; you, the girl
Who adored high summer, sporting your cheap slinky cling-
Tight blouses, those cat-eye shades propped in your dyed curls,
Your pink-flowered skirts, and a pair of flapping tacky lamé slides
On your big sore feet. Your beau-idée of taste was a dollar sale
At Marshall’s, the two of us name-dropping Ruskin and Gide,
Stage-whispering, “There’s your boyfriend,” across the gaudy aisles
At first sight of every funny-looker we met: those goat-
Faced circus clowns, those clad-entirely-in-blue albinos—
What freaks wandered this earth! . . . and you, decked out
Like a discount drag queen, lovingly deriding my beige vinyl
    Sandals half-mended with bread ties.  Only your puff of frail hair
    Mentioned you were dying. The freaks pretended not to stare.

[first published in U.S. 1 Worksheets (2011);
forthcoming in Same Old Story (CavanKerry Press, 2014]

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