Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Prose Poem in the Classic French Manner

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Prose Poem in the Classic French Manner

Article excerpt

When you parted the muslin curtains, the white branches of

winter trees became the arms of girls in their spring frocks in

April and May. There came a night you could smell the freshness.

The next day I would climb out the window and join my friend

Joel on the fire escape. It was the twentieth anniversary of

President Roosevelt's death. The transistor radio had changed

civilization in a superficial way that may have profound longterm

implications. In California there was a place called Surf City

where there were rumored to be two girls for every boy. In the

evening, when all that remained of our high-minded talk was

a momentary pause in the flow of noise, I admired the photos

of girls mounted in an album as if they were postage stamps of

rare value from foreign states and colonies. The arch of a bridge

across a European river made me shiver with pleasure, but

I couldn't rid myself of the fear I felt among these people whose

grandparents they resembled. In the eyes of the comic-book

artist some humans looked like pigs, some like apes, and some,

the noblest, like birds of prey. …

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