Dance In a Different Body, Alone as Always: Absent Applause

Out of depth feeling, fear-filling

in an iced vanilla stage.

Everyone puts on a show

so we watch the other stages

and forget our lines.

And who plays who?


Frozen fillies at the hair shop,

silent at Welty’s dryers,

until someone yells, “Annnnnd cut!”

Fifty years late, they turn and look.

“Don’t you look at me!”

“There’s no show here.”


Offstage, a cup brought to my lips

can’t find my Picasso face,

lips have shifted somewhere else.

I’m found out.  I cannot belong:

I hold the wrong script,

A blank cover.


I write for them, they act my words

The way they want to act them.

And they are no longer mine.

Blow out the candles on the stage.

Dance for me like this.

Sing for me now.


In the dark, apply stage makeup.

Let endorphins flow down nerves

of a different body

than of the costume of your work

to the tambourine

of tutting trains.

Metallic siren’s

Shout steamy screams.

Alone as always,

Absent applause.


11 responses to “Dance In a Different Body, Alone as Always: Absent Applause

  1. Reminds me of life in the theatre. Good metaphor(?)! The first drawing I couldn’t figure out what you were portraying but I saw a bed canopy with a monster face inside it. As usual, enjoy your writing 🙂 I like that you used theatre of course to show the emotions of trying to be something for others and them not seeing it. I love you! 😀

    • Thanks so much for reading!! Ya, I definitely was trying to reference the theatrical life, but more that what we think is real can often be theatrical, that often we play different roles in society depending on which stage we’re on. Also that we’re always watching other people playing parts too, but what is real and who is really playing which parts? The first picture is supposed to represent the same woman pictured at the bottom, but with a curtain over her hair dryer, as if at the end, she’s pulled the curtain off. She’s left the stage to do something real. It also references her blowing our the candles, as if the illumination wasn’t needed because she doesn’t need anyone to see her dance, she’s just doing it to do it. I think you got to the heart of it though, either trying to be something for others and them not seeing it or trying to be something and not caring if anyone sees it, because when you’re alone, it’s the only time you’re not playing a part. Thank you so much for reading and analyzing it. So few people take the time to grasp the meeting.

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