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The Dance



from its dancers circulates among the other

                   dancers. This

would-have-been feverish cool excess of

                   movement makes

each man   hit the pitch co-


Lovely their feet pound the green solid meadow.

                   The dancers

mimic flowers -- root stem stamen and petal

                   our words are,

 our articulations,   our


It is the joy that exceeds pleasure.

          You have passd the count, she said

or I understood from her eyes. Now

old Friedl has grown so lovely in my years,

          I remember only the truth.

          I swear by my yearning.

          You have conquered the yearning, she said

          The numbers have enterd your feet


                turn turn turn

          When you’re real gone, boy, sweet boy ..

          Where have I gone, Beloved?

          Into the Waltz, Dancer

Lovely our circulations sweeten the meadow.

In Ruben’s riotous scene the May dancers teach us our learning seeks


Maximus calld us to dance the Man.

We calld him    to call

        season   out of season-



join we to dance green to the meadow.

Whitman was right.  Our names are left

          like leaves of grass,

likeness and liking,   the human greenness

tough as grass that survives cruelest seasons.

            I see now a radiance.

            The dancers are gone.

            They lie in heaps, exhausted,

            dead tired we say.

            They’ll sleep until noon.

            But I returned early

            for the silence,

            for the lovely pang that is

            a flower,

            returnd to the silent dance-ground.

(That was my job that summer. I’ dance until three, then up to get the hall

swept before nine-beer bottles, cigarette butts, paper mementos of the

night before. Writing it down now, it is the aftermath, the silence, I

remember, part of the dance too, an articulation of the time of the almost dead sleeping is a step.  I’ve got it in a poem, about Friedl,

moaning in the depths of. But that was another room that summer. Part of

my description. What I see is a meadow..

          I’ll slip away before they’re up..

                    and see the dew shining.

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012