Page 29 - WTP Vol. XI #5
P. 29

 as I helped to start a literary magazine, which led to travel and editor gigs
and the annual convention
of the Associated Writing Programs, where, after three days of readings, panels, and a book fair:
African-Americans having natural rhythm, except for him. “The square dance is
the only dance form
I ever mastered,” he wrote.
writers danced!
Supposedly jerky, rather than supple, at least before AI, microchips,
and MIT’s Robotics Lab,
robots couldn’t jump or dance,
Writers were hip and sensual!
Except they tried too hard,
bodies less their element than words.
even to electro funk.
*True dancers, of course,
train for artificial naturalness. “Light on her feet.” The illusion
of ease depends on
practice, exercise, and toil
as well as on such gifts as
youth, litheness, stamina,
and coordination. They ask,
then grant their bodies to perform.
Running was my dance,
I thought. Marathon training. Along the river in the Boston. Rhythm of my heartbeat. Grace in body’s pace.
*“Ladies, dancers don’t have periods,” a woman dancer once wrote.
Meanwhile, most of us
most of the time, carry ourselves as burdens;
badly jointed, painful to watch. Don’t got rhythm. Out of step. Dreams confined within
But for runners, well, there’s Uta Peppig, cresting Heartbreak Hill with
blood on legs and mouthing “I can’t!” but going on to win.
the body’s cage.
*“Do the hucklebuck.
If you don’t know how to do it, boy you’re out of luck.”
*How much of marriage
follows your steps, mine, or ours? How much needs to?
*Besides “The Tin Man’s Dance” from The Wizard of Oz, McPherson was likely thinking of young Michael Jackson’s
*When a friend,
newly divorced and retired, got fixed up with the widow of a famous hoofer,
their date didn’t go well.
robot dance during the Jackson-5’s performance of “Dancing Machine,” in the Sixties.
“Hard shoes to fill,” he quipped.
* (continued on next page)
He was also mocking the white stereotype of

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