Peggy Dobreer's "What the Bones Weigh," "Metamorphosis And a Fountain", and Three Photographs
Peggy Dobreer is a poet, choreographer, and curator who brings movement, somatic meditation, and a deep love of letters to her Slow Lightning Lit daily online practice. Dobreer studied poetry at Charles University, School of Anglophile Studies in Prague, received a residency with Suzanne Lummis at the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles, at Occidental College, and is a 2021 Sharon Olds Fellow at Community of Writers in Poetry.
Dobreer has two collections from Moon Tide Press: In the Lake of Your Bones, 2012 and Drop & Dazzle, 2018, and a recent chapbook, Forbidden Plums, with Glass Lyre Press, Chicago. She was awarded Downey Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Poetry Matter’s Prize, in association with NASA, and has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize.With over 100 poems in publication, Dobreer was most recently anthologized in Kyoto Journal: Reflections from Asia, Cultural Weekly, Aeolian Harp Review, Volumes I & V, and is upcoming in Beat Not Beat: An Anthology of Los Angeles Poets from Moon Tide Press. Books, links and how to connect can be found at: www.peggydobreer.com
What The Bones Weigh
The bones pile beneath our lecture hall.
Behind the gates of Josefsov, stones slope
together, bodies dug ten deep or more,
make a minyan of uncles rolling over.
Surely, the loss of a bowl causes turning,
or the distant crush of a crystal goblet.
The buried temple up to its ear for
profiles kept low in survival's wake.
How the ghetto shrieks of a failure
to annihilate. How the Golem keeps
the story to himself. How bones toss
and wail. How ground swells, and limbs
join with eighty thousand names more.
How the disappeared take march,
etched in wind and sudden rain.
How they cling to the heat of our late
summer lesson and strike us dumb.
How this intoleration makes a tomb
of the class, invades this mausoleum
of moldy books and mute forefathers.
They storm these harbored halls, windows
slamming shut. How the panes shatter.
© 2022 Peggy Dobreer
Metamorphosis And a Fountain
"I am a cage, in search of a bird." -Franz Kafka
David Czerny has sculpted
two metal men who
pee naked on the patio
outside the Kafka Museum.
People want to know what
Franz would think of this,
mechanical hips that
sway back and forth.
Penes that rise and fall in
two right hands. The lefts
go 'round backs as though
to bow or minuet.
Pelvic bones recline,
relax. The two, face-off,
tres nonchalant, doppelgangers
making a fountain of liquid
fractals across a shallow pool,
a splishing line, a vector of
wavelets, an expletive of spill.
Verdigris over copper, sun on
water, three distinct worlds
of Kafka's Prague. Inside, an
unread letter to his father, sepia
photos. And journals he insisted
be burned on his death. A single
broken promise becomes a gift
of his wit to the world. Perhaps Franz
and Max Brod pissing on last requests?
© 2022 Peggy Dobreer