Poem in Which I Imagine Myself into a Woody Allen Movie

Eliot Khalil Wilson

among upper-middle class white people.

I kibitz now, I wave my hands like I’m charading fire,
wear tweed, have a gelfilte fish pallor,
my pockets full of Cliff Notes Kierkegaard.

I dream that I’ve awoken to the need
for and the absence of soul—a void blooms—

but a mannered void— like the boarding up
of a quality delicatessen.

My lovely improbable wife bores me.

I’ve found a Bohemian surrogate,
un-jaded as April, my missed horizon
my buried life, incessant Dixieland,
and no part of the daycare Fellini
of my meekly whining domestic life.

I wait for her outside her high school.

Realism says she’ll dump me and I’ll go
back to my wife, newly appreciative, chastened—
a song so played, and played and played again.

This pattern I am compelled to unlearn.

But sometimes a brave sense dawns upon me:

That this is some weary lockstep routine,
the light, new, but most of it recycled

among upper-middle class white people.


Eliot WilsonEliot Khalil Wilson‘s first book of poems, The Saint of Letting Small Fish Go, won the 2003 Cleveland State Poetry Prize, His second collection, This Island of Dogs, is forthcoming from Aldrich Press. He currently lives in Golden, Colorado.