To State Street--A Random Place
I have forgotten my tickets to the ballet,
Yet since crowds are so obliging,
A ballet can start unannounced,
I can be the choreographer and director.
Most distances can be measured in creative space,
Most people are actors . . . I pull on my costume.
In a restaurant scene the waiters steal all the lines,
And laugh as they take off their poses and count their money,
The cooks grumble in the back alley,
Cooling their perspiration and their throbbing malcontent.
I dance a street dance and the acrobats and jugglers nod in recognition,
The extras pretend to blend into the day,
We stop and sing a song about inertia,
Perhaps our anxious voices give the song more meaning than it deserves.
The heroine stops and poses a lament,
It is like a question . . . should it be important?
Perhaps a sorcerer is involved and we have used the wrong scenery,
The ballet can be allegorical and the sorcerer is Indecision,
Three small ballerinas dressed alike appear as muses,
And whisper the answer to the heroine.
The hero seems confused,
I tell him the answer itself is not important,
Some messages do not extend beyond the theatre,
Anyway, my feet have grown weary.
I run through the aisles to find the producer,
She is hailing a cab . . . a ballerina is the driver.
(written for my favorite street in my old college town of Madison, Wisconsin, 1999)