|ODALISQUE--poems by Mark Salerno|
FinaleThere is a particular punch and power to Mark Salerno's sonnet style, at first reading as if it were an incoherent clash of radio stations competing on the AM dial. But as one reads, as one absorbs the terrain, the local businesses and street names, the voices emerge, masculine and feminine identities switching sensibilities, the monologues revealing all the moods, every defense, every method of inoculating oneself against the prevailing truth that greets many a visitor , many a person who has come to stake their claim on a landscape of slippery concepts.
To be without believing or just forget the dreamas when a former odalisque too late to get luckysettles on a set table in a dingy outlying suburbshe told her soul to leave her alone and it did sochastened by the memory of true life in the far westand a little roughed up in consequence of feelingwhen giving up becomes one way of staying aliveI was M. dilatory in my wanderings and a lost manhustled by a cutie girl and drenched in flop sweatfor my anxiety to know the really real or breathe airbetween seeming and being of the way she said couple-yalong with all the other beauty school graduatescooped up and portioned out running gags and shtickto save a fairy tale as I have scrupled to aver.
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