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“Bit Part”

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…………………………bit part
…………………………in dreams now and then
………………………...while I’m catching paper cups
………………………...fallen from small hands
…………………………of children in their ferris wheel,
…………………………or sitting at the back of a bus
…………………………on its way to an island,
…………………………my diary left behind
…………………………and wearing white seersucker,
…………………………or taking the phone off its hook
…………………………at three in the afternoon
…………………………so that no one can reach me
………………………...as grey tornadoes builds —
…………………………my father shows up playing
…………………………a bit part, odd man out
…………………………bus driver or corner witness
…………………………or sick man donning
…………………………a red woollen cap, sitting
…………………………alone in the old house
………………………...(there then not there even
…………………………after all these years),
…………………………but sometimes he’s less
…………………………than that, with no role at all
…………………………in the dreaming, instead he’s
…………………………what wakes me — sated
…………………………fatigue, revived thirst
…………………………or hunger, daylight returning
…………………………or just too much rehearsal,
…………………………enough already our dying
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…………………………by Therese L. Broderick
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…………………………(A writer’s statement appears as the first comment.)
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About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

4 responses »

  1. poetryaboutart

    ARTIST’S STATEMENT

    .
    I realize that this poem has plenty of colors and images in common with Wallace Stevens’ poem “Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock;” however, these dreams (and one memory of the red cap) were really my own. Perhaps I dreamed about white seersucker and about catching cups precisely because I was so familiar with that Stevens poem. I don’t know for sure. My father was an aging war veteran at the time of his death, but never a drunken sailor.
    .
    I can’t thoroughly explain the turn late in the poem, when my father becomes what wakes me. I was exploring the phenomenon that occurs when an image in a dream functions as a signal to wake up. Perhaps even images not in the dream, but submerged elsewhere in the unconscious, can also function as an agent of waking.
    .
    I don’t capitalize the first word in sentences in order to retain the relaxed effect of lower case letters, text as free from rules as dreams are. To be correct, “ferris” should be capitalized because “Ferris” was a man’s name.
    .
    I worked a lot on the sounds of the last few lines. Its current version reflects a change from these lines which, I judged, were less musical: “sated / sleepiness, revived thirst / or hunger, daylight again…”

    Like

  2. Love it;)

    Like

  3. Marilyn Zembo Day

    I think this is one of my favorite poems of yours of those I’ve read. There’s a true dreamlike quality to it and yet the reader finds enough of the person (your father) to want to search further, beyond the imagery, to seek whatever it was that the dream was trying to tell you. Especially the “bit part, odd many out” personna. Love it!

    Like

  4. Leslie Neustadt

    I enjoyed this poem, and your comments afterwards. What fertile soil for poetry. You are inspiring as always. I will start collecting my dream images and see where they take me. Thanks!

    Like

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