About the Poems
by Peg Duthie
Here's what it says on the insides of the bonbon wrappers, beneath the folded-over hems of the matchboxes, on an envelope forgotten in the room service binder -- all visible only when you hold them up at just the right angle between the lightbulb and the lampshade, wrist at an awkward angle --
"lobster" -- Season and place do matter. The tails in the supermarket freezer had no hope of sating the yearning for New England butter and shellflesh.
"three-ring circus" -- No, we don't need clothes -- or toys -- that are dry-clean only. But we splurge on them anyway.
"kosher" -- The chuppah isn't an umbrella. But neither is it a shroud.
"Journeys End" -- O mistress mine, come read to me of the Duke of Orléans.
"Because It Makes Me Ha—" -- I didn't have any scarves with me when I wanted to attend shachris (morning prayer) in the Loop. Nothing in the stores seemed quite right -- but then, walking back to the hotel after a show, I passed the Orchestra Hall gift shop, and there it was: the champagne-colored wrap I had promised myself months earlier to find (or make), to wear to weddings and other festivals.
In fact, these all started out as self-inflicted writing exercises, both to cope with manic insomnia and because it's neither healthy nor interesting to dwell too much on meetings, mailings or the difficulty of drawing a decent letter "f."