This is a memory. I once had a woman dance for me in my living room in a full costume including a long flowing black-haired wig. What a gift. This moment was one of many with her that changed my life.
The Dancing Girl
You told me secrets
about dancing, it's costume
that makes it real,
that's what you said, then
you twirled your full skirts so high
I saw your full shape,
the shine of your shoes,
and the grace notes in my heart
all from the rhythmic
swirl of your sweet world.
February 25, 2009 7:40 PM
She worked a magic. They say magic cannot happen unless you believe, but I say that's not quite right. We say falling in love. We also say one falls for a thing. This is a heart action. I fell for the dance. I fell for the offer. I fell for the promise. I fell for the girl. This is a movement.
It is also an expression of the duality involved when an artist, actor, musician creates a fan who falls in love. I would not have fallen for the dance had she not been the dancer. I might not have fallen for the dancer had the dance been awkward. And it is true. Even as the dancer fell for me as well, why she danced for me, she retained the power to step away later and I did not have that power. I believe that imbalance can only feel profoundly unfair. "All is fair in love and war." Maybe. But it is the way of the world. That imbalance is nearly always present, is it not? One of the lovers will nearly always retain the power to violate the affair somehow. The other will cry, "Unfair!" while falling to their knees in the pain.
She couldn't be alone. When she left, she left me for another, a lover timed so he could appear in her life openly where we were clandestine, but also he was a brighter, shinier thing. For me one unsuccessful love affair and for her, two failed affairs in succession, and the second much worse because she fell for even less possibility along with the shinier surface. In a way she was in a descent and still descending as she left me.
One reader commented: A private dance (is) more intimate than sex. That dance for me certainly was.
*Post, poem and commentary exerpts from November 10-12, 2009*
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.