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Dr. Quigley Quivered with Anxiety

2011 March 7
by J. Scott Mosel

 (J. Scott Mosel)

Dr. Quigley was daydreaming again:

Le Top of the World Cafe,

his favorite Parisean hot spot

where he could hear The Carpenters 24/7.

He loved to daydream. His school days

spent lovingly watching the seasons,

leaves brushing against the windows

like distant echoes of an aria.

Now the click and ping of espresso cups

made him quiver with anxiety

as he took his seat at the public reading,

located at Busboys and Poets,

23rd & I, Northwest D.C.

He observed various groups at the tables

around him,  tainted drinks of all shapes and colors

like stained glass in the faint aura

of the insane. The first poet took the stage.

Dr. Quigley watched as the room

began to metabolize liturgically,

the cadence of the ode

held for him the agony of a pasion play.

He turned to a fellow worshipper and said

I must confess, my transfiguration is

wholly linguistic in nature.

Instantly, he sensed his transgression:

His solitude made him wish for his mother.

Then, a frail, poet on the half-shell

took the stage. He listened, transformed,

as words began to fill his sails.

Elephants boarded ships for India,

a migration funded by global warming.

He wondered if he could be re-incarnated

as an idea. When it was over,

he leaned close to his neighbor and said

Trotsky opens doors to new worlds.

Are you ready to unveil yourself?

The monkeys of the world are on the march,

and they know your name.

Someday, he hoped to die for his beliefs.

It was yesterday once more.

One Response leave one →
  1. Joe Bastow permalink*
    March 7, 2011

    I am forever swooned by “metabolize litergically” and by Quigley’s “tranfiguration [that] is/wholly linguistic in nature.” We should all be so lucky as Doc Quig whose imagination is wild enough to juxtapose Trotsky with Indian elephants in a world where images of stained glass reverberate to the incessant soundtrack of the Carpenters’ music.

    I’d much rather face the inculcation of Doctor Quigley’s musings than have to suffer the agonies of the “click and ping of espresso cups” during readings more suited to dense smoke and emptied shot glasses.

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