Monday, May 01, 2006

Spare Change Poetry


From the latest issue of Spare Change, which I bought from the guy in the middle of Winter Street:



The Slow Dance

every morning in good weather
he is there
on the square of concrete
that holds the park bench
moving two steps forward
two steps back
looking straight ahead at nothing
something is holding him
like a partner
moving him
moving with him
both of them slowed
because it is the song about
never-ending love
and how smoke gets in your eyes
and the lights are dim now
because it is the last dance
every moment of his day.

Mary P. Chatfield

The depiction of boundaries is the first thing I noticed about this poem: the "square of concrete" lined by a park bench and the subject's precise movement of "two steps forward / two steps back." His world is this space, and his movement is guided by an imaginary partner. He is living right at the edge of something, bumping against the boundaries of his space and always at the end of the last dance.

4 comments:

Martyn said...

Thanks for that and your observations. I liked the interplay of both confinement and expression in the action.

MB said...

I find myself thinking, "That's so sad." And then wondering if it really is. There's great comfort that can be taken in memories and fantasies.

You didn't pay for it with spare change, did you?

Amy said...

Martyn--yes, he is both confined and in movement, as if the boundaries provide some security.

MB--It's sad, I think, because although the man does not seem to be sad, he is probably living in a fantasy because that's what he needs to do to survive.

I paid with a dollar from my back pocket. :-)

Mr. Concrete Statue said...

I'm going to have to also say that that was sad.