Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I got two books of poetry by George Bilgere yesterday.

Here are two of his poems. I like George Bilgere a lot.


When you've been away from it long enough,
You begin to forget the country
Of couples, with all its strange customs
And mysterious ways. Those two
Over there, for instance: late thirties,
Attractive and well-dressed, reading
At the table, drinking some complicated
Coffee drink. They haven't spoken
Or even looked at each other in thirty minutes,

But the big toe of her right foot, naked
In its sandal, sometimes grazes
The naked ankle bone of his left foot,

The faintest signal, a line thrown

Between two vessels as they cruise
Through this hour, this vacation, this life,
Through the thick novels they're reading,
Her toe saying to his ankle,

Here's to the whole improbable story
Of our meeting, of our life together
And the oceanic richness
Of our mingled narrative
With its complex past, with its hurts
And secret jokes, its dark closets
And delightful sexual quirks,
Its occasional doldrums, its vast
Future we have already peopled
With children. How safe we are

Compared to that man sitting across the room,
Marooned with his drink
And yellow notebook, trying to write
A way off his little island.

Threepenny Opera

The elderly modern dance instructor
And his elderly wife are dancing
In top hats and tails, doing a Kurt Weill
Number as old as their marriage.

They've reached that age when the body
Is starting to wonder how it got here,
When it has become strange, even to itself,
And moves around uncertainly
As if looking for a lost pair of glasses.

They do not mean for what they're doing
To be a parody, but, of course, it is;
The word means something like
"To sing alongside," and it's just
Possible to see the lithe dark lovers
They used to be, singing just beyond
The penumbra of the spotlight.
When they tap dance and set
Their old skeletons clattering

Across the stage, the teenage boy
In front of me smiles and nudges his girlfriend
Who has reached the moment
Of her beauty that will keep everyone
On the edge of their seats
For the next two or three years.

by George Bilgere, both from The Good Kiss. © The University of Akron Press

1 comment:

Leon said...

Thank you for posting this. My 70 tear old bones truly identify with the dance instructor and his wife. :~)