Not Ready for Our Close-Up

By Elton Glaser

Featured Art: Portrait of Jeanne Wenz by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

So here we are, helpless among the infinities,
Like noonday devils with the midnight blues.

It’s no use looking for clues in the cradle or the cave.
They’re having none of it down at the U, the cranky professors

And the poets won’t tuck us in with milk and macaroons,
With the sleepy rise and fall of blanket verse.

The mind makes its way among the mazes, inconsolable, quick,
The cross-eyed love child of amnesia fucked by adrenaline.

We might as well steal some Etruscan tear jars for the soulwater.
We might as well scrape a pig’s ear to flavor the beans.

It’s going to be a long night of gossip among the isolatoes,
Candles writhing their light against the slippery walls.

Elton Glaser, a native of New Orleans, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Akron. He has published six full-length books of poetry, among them Pelican Tracks (Southern Illinois, 2003), winner of the Crab Orchard Review Poetry Award, and Here and Hereafter (Arkansas, 2005), winner of the Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Two new books will be published in 2013: Translations from the Flesh (Pitt Poetry Series) and The Law of Falling Bodies (Arkansas), winner of the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize.

Piece originally published in NOR 13.

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