The Uncelebrated Ceremony of Pants-Factory Fatso

(1978)


by Louis Daniel Brodsky

 

The Poet's Slatternly Verse

My words wear the strangest faces tonight.
I barely recognize them for the heavy makeup
They’ve obviously taken hours in applying
To disguise blemishes, discolorations,
And a birthmark common to each individually.
Something beguiling attracts me. I lean closely
To hear every sibilance and coy syllable spoken.
Their careful articulation teases me,
As though each were undressing to bare flesh
Before my eyes, asking me to take her
At her word alone, without knowing the whole body.
Passionately, they draw me into their persuasion,
Make me kneel beneath their metered lines,
Supple feminine endings, and internal rhymes.

Soon, entangled in their strangling embrace,
I can’t step back to gain perspective.
My mind trips on the hypnotic alliterations
And fickle similes that litter the air.
All in a spin, I begin to grasp at metaphors
To keep from falling through false profundities
And empty philosophies. Grown too weak
To resist, I join my own ferocious applause.
Even after leaving the stage, I can hear
The raucous audience clapping encore, encore.
Once more, I return to parade the words
I’ve always believed expressed beauty best.
For some reason, they’ve all become whores,
For whom I’m merely an itinerant pimp.

 



Summary:

The forty-six poems in this book reveal the "fractured, disoriented soul" the poet became during his years as a factory manager, when frequent business travel forced him to "navigate the unmapped reaches of Catalepsy" and "pray for peace, guidance, delivery," leading him home, "after an eon on the road," to his beloved wife and child.







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