A Dancing Fool

I wish to make a noise with my feet
I want my soul to find its proper body.

―Nicanor Parra
(transl. William Carlos Williams)

It’s not as if I woke one morning and began to dance at the age of 45, though something like that. I must tell you first that I am not a dancer, have never danced till now, not even in school when, out of shame, I let other boys dance with my dates. But now I dance; indeed, I cannot stop dancing. My wife suspects another woman. I assure her that is not the case. A shy man, I have always wanted to dance. I have wanted it so deeply for so long that I think it simply and finally came overnight. I dance now for hours with anyone, everyone, other men’s wives, though my own refuses no matter the music. She swears I’ve learned from another woman. What can I say? One, perhaps: Terpsichore! And so I dance because I must. She asks about the poems, what will happen to the poems if I dance so much? I tell her it doesn’t matter, dancing is more important at my age. She frowns and says, You sendentary fool, dancing will kill you at your age! But we go on, Terpsichore and I, and other men’s wives….

Previously published in Something Iridescent (Barnwood Press, 1987).

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Roger Pfingston’s poems have appeared recently in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Passager, and Sin Fronteras. A new chapbook, A Day Marked for Telling, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. Roger’s “Grady’s Green Studio” and “Hazards of Photography” are also in Reprint.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “Correspondence in the form of a letter, hand written or typed, maybe with a few corrected typos or crossed out words or phrases with something ‘better’ scribbled above or in the margin, a signature at the bottom of the page which is folded into thirds to fit the business-size envelope that requires a stamp and is addressed by hand, maybe even a quick afterthought inked on the back of the envelope after it was licked  and sealed.”

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