It's just poetry, it won't bite

Martha Makes Space on the Catwalk


01.25.14 Posted in today's words by

Tracy Koretsky is the author of the 15-time award-winning novel Ropeless (Present Tense Press 2005). Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Tracy offers complimentary copies of her memoir in poem Even Before My Own Name at her website, where you will also find audio poems, reviews, author interviews, and links to more work.

Martha Makes Space on the Catwalk
By Tracy Koretsky

They got it wrong of course; that much is a given.
……….Even the Times. Especially
The Times. I believe they called it your “roots.”
……….How can they say “Expressionist”
when you were still sucking your thumb beneath
……….a sticky table in Solingen, watching
the fat fraulein calves rush about with their platters
……….of brats and schnitzel when I
showed them Expressionism. Still sitting there
……….when everyone with any sense
in your Fatherland was either chased out or fled
……….south of Washington Square.
Vielleicht. Maybe. I knew you’d say that.
……….Vielleicht, vielleicht,” all the time.
See, right there. That’s no Expressionism.
……….Expressionism is: “Definitely,”
“Absolutely.” Don’t give me that face. Anyone can look
……….sepulchral while sucking on a Camel. But
never mind, we know. We know what you did.
……….Tanztheater–Dance Theater.
The word “dance” alone, entirely inadequate.
……….Same for “theater.”
For me, twenty-three curtain calls, not a bad night,
……….but for you? They’d sit spelled
by a dream they’d always meant to dream.
……….Don’t vielleicht me; I know. I know it
was something I’d never seen and I see everything.
……….I did down there, and I do up here.
I knew all about you in New York when you were
……….there, even if you didn’t think
I’d noticed. You were young and powerful as an
……….unbroken colt, silent and springloaded,
and I couldn’t stand you. But then … then I saw
……….what you would return to Wuppertal, of all
places, to give us, and, well … I told Isadora to shove
……….her blini-eating butt over. Yes, yes, of
course I knew you were coming. I knew it when
……….you began that last world tour and
started dropping snow on stage. Just a few flakes
……….at first–the audience thought
it was a mistake, a sloppy stagehand–then
……….a dusting, then a slurry backlit
by silver gels. The dancers’ feet trailing brief
……….winding wakes, swiftly covered over. Stop
that vielleicht!” You were sending a letter. I
……….have asked Ruth to choose a scarf for you.
Take one last bow, Pina Bausch. Welcome.

 



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