Ken Dreyfack

Twisted Helix
For Yolaine, March 1992

There’s no good reason
Why your smile need transpose
Already wondrous sensuality
Into sense

Nor why
Your regard need transmit
Beyond undeniable sensation
Additional intelligence

Unreasoned appetites,
The very nourishment of love,
Catalyze impossible encounters
Between sea and shore
With infinitely brief
Instants of resonance

As from the tense interplay
Of sense and countersense
Doubled harmony becomes
Delicious dissonance.

My Memory Is a Lawyer

Punctual and well meaning,
Who lines up his arguments convincingly,
To neatly present, as is his solemn duty to his client,
An airtight case.

My memory too is a pimply girl curled tightly on her bed,
Whose heart breaks over a bird’s broken wing or a father’s unthinking remark,
Who sobs herself to sleep thinking of her own insufficiencies,
Imagined or real.

And a proud old man with the newspaper,
Whose thin white socks are unknowingly exposed as he sits reading at the kitchen table,
Who can still work himself into a self righteous fury if he opens that box in the closet and unpacks Something that happened years ago.

And a kind, shapeless woman in a house dress,
Whose hand too tightly clutches the strap of her black handbag,
Who advises her upstairs neighbor to drop all of his arguments and resentments and reasons and complaints
In favor of more lasting things.

Albany International Airport

In stocking feet, a heavyset woman emerges from the security check, her blond hair rolled up into a halo of large, complicated curlers, and sits down to lace her heavy winter boots back up.

A disheveled man carrying a brief case seems to be talking aloud to himself until you see that he’s got one of those Bluetooth things stuck in his left ear. He is nearly shouting “It was just yesterday that you came into my office and told me to shut down my computer. It was just yesterday and now …” his angry voice fades off as he marches down the hallway.

The younger of the two women at the next table, a tall redhead who looks about 60, talks to her mother, seated facing her, as if the older woman were a child, scolding her for spilling her drink.

Emerging from my increasingly solitary surroundings, I sometimes feel, for better and for worse, as if I come from another planet.

About the Author

I moved to Woodstock in late fall 2008 because I had always wanted to live in the country. Before that, I lived 30 years in France, mostly in Paris but also in Strasbourg (during the 70s) and irregularly in Cruchy, a tiny village in Burgundy. I am originally from New York City.

After several decades as a journalist, in New York, Chicago and Paris, I became a self-employed commercial/business writer, working mostly for multinational corporations. I am working on a book-length memoir and write poetry and short stories occasionally.

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