Grady spent the morning roaming fields and woods, looking for the proper setting for a series of photographs of his dancer friend, Emily, who would be naked and subject to the whims of nature, namely myriad insects, poison ivy, snakes, thorns, sudden declivities in the earth which could render even the nimblest of dancers undone, a sprain or break for which Grady would have to assume some responsibility. And so he tramped through weeds and wildflowers, suffered briars and the persistent drone of the seventeen-year cicadas, their frenzied landings in his hair a thin entanglement that triggered a flailing of arms, a dance of sorts for which Grady supplied his own applause by slapping his head repeatedly. Ironically, Grady’s final choice was a mowed corner of acreage that belonged to a friend who was fond of referring to his recent purchase as his “little Ponderosa,” only a few miles out of town. It seemed too perfect, even down to a pond graced by a trio of geese. Grady paced the carpet of grass as if measuring the pleasure of his find. He literally ran from one wall of foliage to the next, expecting flaws. He found none. At eleven a.m. the four young pine trees in the center of the studio cast thick shadows which Grady knew would serve to accentuate the beauty of Emily’s lightly freckled skin as she wove her terpsichorean magic among these mute, immobile partners in dance. Grady stood staring, pleased with himself, his brain the dark workings of a camera in which Emily leapt in sequential frames of silver.
Previously published in Grady’s Lunch (Matchbook Press, 1988).
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 “A Dancing Fool” 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.”