Bio Note: Born and raised in Coney Island, I'm a Coney Island patriot. And a squash racquets fanatic. My headstone is to read, "One More Game?" I am the author of Collected Poems 1954-2004 (Schocken Books 2004) and Usable Truths: Aphorisms & Observations (Waywiser Press 2019).
Meeting in Lyon
The winter night gives birth before me; it is you hurrying from the mists of Lyon between the New Hotel and Place Carnot: shock of dullish hair, widow's peak, dead uncle's baggy suit, dead nephew's bursting coat, dirty collar, varicose tie, suitcase so torn you've webbed it with cord. In broken French you ask for the bus to Bordeaux. In broken French I answer, crying out, That way, sir! with confident misdirection, never dreaming you'll go, yet off you rush, limping grandly, swinging your free elbow. What business could you ever have in Bordeaux? Might as well ask for the bus to Budapest, the bus to Chicago! Oslo! Maracaibo! Why kid me, a stranger in the street, asking for outlandish places, pretending a life to live and all that says, history, property, people, god, that whole landscape of the arbitrary to give you breath, to call you darling! And so you go, country on your back, selves in a satchel, a cipher becoming the century. Powerless, you do nothing, recur, like a myth, echoing around the corner, stepping off boldly on the wrong foot toward the empty provinces of rain.
©2021 Irving Feldman
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