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Nijinsky’s Flight


“My little girl is singing: ‘Ah ah ah ah.’ I do not understand its meaning, but I feel what she wants to say. She wants to say that everything…is not horror, but joy.”

-Last entry in Nijinsky’s Diary

   in 1912

   old Rodin


   inert clay

   into the dancer’s

   spiral rhythm:

   outright animal

   eyes flaring


   body springs

   arching dance


   known form


   to creation’s leap

   engendering desire in many

   and the fear in others

   that closed in-

   1919 when

   fat assed in-laws

   ordered goon-cops

   after the sometimes

   crazy man.

   War dead soldier dreams

   had burst his sleep

   (“Now I will dance you the war,

   its suffering, its destruction, its death

   The war you did not prevent.”)

   The performance was “terrible.”

   Authorities surrounded his house,

   Trapped him in his olitude:

   “What have I done?”

   Joyless arms twisted him

   into the straight jacket

   and knotted tangled limbs.

   They gang stomped their catch

   and plopped a squatting numbness

   in a cage

   thirty years,

   staring out

   the windowless wall.

   past ashes

   on Good Friday


   the fire

   long since



Jim Bogan

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012