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Ralph Malachowski

All American

The little woman says
we should go to the ballet.
I donít know about that.
Never cottoned to the stuff
myself.
When I was a boy,
a man was a man,
not this devilís playground
with boys in lingerie
and girls flitting around
dressed like flies on fishing ties.

Football, hockey, and normal stuff,
thatís whatís right
for a manís man,
a regular guy like me from Sandusky,
not prancing and playacting romancing
by some Ivans and Olegs
whose lives fill the pages
of tabloids and romans ŗ clef.
Iím only being factual
about those bachelors.
Itís unnatural
being onstage wearing tights
in front of all those lights,
in front of God,
and everyone else in plain sight.

George Balanchine
itís been said
liked to iron clothes
and Igor Stravinsky
kissed his parakeet on the lips.
That figures.
George and Igor
also cooked for each other.
Sounds
more like my aunt and my mother.

Thatís what happens to men
who spend too much
time at the ballet.
Spend
time at home
with a thirty-two-inch television.
No physical provision needed.
Avoid the theatrical. Live a quiet life.
Iím an American and
thatís my decision.

 

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