Bio Note: Many of my poems are inspired by conversations with my wife, or begin as a weird thought. I write best when I’m inspired, and am not one of those “write every day” types. Besides poetry, I love jazz, tennis, and boardgames. My first volume of poetry, Words for Things Left Unsaid, is just out from Kelsay Books. I’m looking forward to the end of quarantine, when I can read from it live!
When Woody Met Annie
Back then Manhattan glittered an island, a metropolis, a universe Rhapsody in Blue soaring from every window of every skyscraper, every brownstone breathing romance. A couple in silhouette, Annie towered above you. In those days tough guys glared from a billion big screens, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, guys who took a gut punch and stayed silent. You were nothing like that, a mensch, gushing wry one-liners epic romance the terrible and the miserable, the beautiful, too. Charlie Chaplin reborn as a giant pair of glasses, thick black rims quintessential nerd. A real man is articulate, emotional. Annie, nervous and talkie, in her jacket and tie so feminine announcing our androgynous future. Schlimazels, intellectuals a mismatched duo quintessential Manhattan quintessential America so of your time, so ahead of your time. You wrecked it all, stomped on your own glasses stalking young girls to remake them. Perhaps that was always you a sculptor crafting souls in your own image. Finally, in a spasm you sliced a potter’s knife through the heart of your adopted family, jagged gash through flesh. There are no more heroes, if Hercules were alive today he’d be molesting young girls between each of his labors. But it was nothing like that back when the world was fresh with deep thoughts from a billion books. That spring of hope etched in black and white, in brilliant color, in cinemascope with stereophonic sound, back when Manhattan glittered with art and promise when Woody met Annie.
©2020 Ethan Goffman
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