Maxwell Bodenheim Poems : Vaudeville Moment

They have carved a battle
Across your hard face:
Transfigured conflict,
Lines like suspended lances.
Your voice must be the uneven
Clink of the last carver's chisel.
Your soul must be a pious subterfuge
Squinting its admiring eyes
At the lifeless battle lining your face. . . .
Middle aged vaudeville conductor,
With a hunted leanness on your body,
Sometimes the swing of your baton
Sways with a brooding patience
That violates your ended face.

Two acrobats appear,
With their automaton bows.
Their unlit motion does not strike
The air into a hugging flame.
They are blue and orange corpses
Whirled in a sacrilegious festival.
They vividly resemble
The chiseled battle that grips
This lean conductor's face:
Motion without life,
And life that holds no motion!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 14:29

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Maxwell Bodenheim

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