Poem by Robert Milby


 

She was no Feral Ballerina

He expected her to dance in windy meadows
and navigate marshland on brambled trails.
He did not expect her to venerate winter Crows, then fear groves of magi Willows—
and was shocked to find her distracted by city state spending of wanton youth;
lives of quickened misery; of capital kings and eviction from palaces of individuality.

Why is the gold of Gehenna painted on roadside billboards,
displayed like a garden of earthly delights, as children of corporate husbandry
stand in line on secondary roads, where scintillating paving stones were usurped
by the Howard Carters of commerce, and Lord Carnarvon carnivores?

He expected her to choose to be with him!
She did choose; she rode through his scant days as if she were immortal,
and had a counterfeiter’s small-press publishing house in her elaborate mansion.

She played chess with a warlord above the Hudson, announced in the largest propaganda tract
this side of the ocean. Revolt and banns returned to the reverie, and an escape out West
to the grifter’s Treasury. On stage again, costumed and consumed by a showman’s façade—
his handler’s pin-stripes; her brocaded Monarch gown.

No black swan, but she was no feral ballerina. She would not wander woodland trials,
with a scribe who’d offered explications of Akashic Sunrise, but rather, sought triggers
further south along the River, like a Polanski orgy in a Manhattan high-rise.

Late-day librettist and band leader claims companion roll, each plays piano—
she, an adjunct to his fantasy of entertainment in the merry old land of Las Vegas.
He—an obvious dandy; a fop of the walk; a weekend rogue.

The scribe was far too old; less than a decade in flesh years, more than a century in soul.
The scribe dreamt of a feral ballerina, destined for motherhood in a rural arena,
but he was paid in full by the muse of penury, the story recycled—
at the expense of his humanity. Thus, when he’d had enough Inquisition,
he retreated to sacristy—the kingdom of books, and their austere dimensions of candles and dust.

 

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

Artwork © Ira Joel Haber

 

Robert Milby, of Florida, NY hosts 5 Hudson Valley poetry series. He assists with 3 or 4 others. Milby has been reading his work in public, since March, 1995. He is the author of Ophelia’s Offspring (Foothills Publishing, Kanona, NY, 2007) Dicken’s Pet Raven (Fierce Grace Press, Wilmington, DE, 2014), and Victorian House: Ghosts and Gothic Poems (Lion Autumn Music Publishing, NYC, September, 2015).

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Since 2007 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 160 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.

 

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