Monday Poem: Steven Toussaint’s ‘The Neoplatonist Theatre’

 

THE NEOPLATONIST THEATRE

 

 

In the neoplatonist theatre

audience exists, a couple

 

of victims of the new

conscription, waiving

 

all their outrage,

waiting in the cockpit.

 

One’s a former gallery

serf, feeding frozen

 

grapes to animals

not born to work

 

their mandibles that way.

One expresses gently

 

the gland whence prayers

discharge, a man

 

who sits and glares

at his companion, lost

 

in the foreignness

and novelty of names

 

his gland would praise

but can’t forgive.

 

Some overeager, out-

of-tune apologist

 

announces tea

and biscuits in the vestibule.

 

Neither budge, rooted

in middlebrow certainty

 

that a single righteous

and timely volume

 

of samizdat applause, lodged

like a socket wrench

 

in the uptake, would stay

the launch of a still

 

more secretive

and stylized soliloquy.

 

©Steven Toussaint

 

Steven Toussaint was born in Chicago in 1986. His books include Fiddlehead (Compound Press, 2014) and The Bellfounder (The Cultural Society, 2015). He lives with his wife, the writer Eleanor Catton, in Auckland.

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