Fall 2001, Volume 19.1
Ben Wilensky is a merchant seaman, soldier, news reporter, and art teacher. He received his B.A. in sociology and film studies from Brooklyn College, and he has done graduate work in anthropology at The New School, New York. His work has appeared in numerous publications including American Poetry Monthly, Chiron Review, Eureka, Nexus, Poetry New York, Prairie Schooner, and Writers Forum.
Papageno in the Shower
My old bones ache from squatting in tight places.
Yesterday they strapped me to a bosun's chair
and I went sailing high above the mountains of the moon.
When I looked down,
waves were rushing by like bulls thundering across the plains
and I thought what would happen if I fell onto their horns.
I stagger from a troubled sleep and hit the lights.
Steaming water soaks my skin and soap
washes over me with graceful rain.
I feel so good to be alive,
I want my foes to be alert to arias of bellicosity.
Opera will bring the Philistines crashing to their knees.
I place a song inside a sling and heave it through the air
to ring inside Goliath's head and I connect,
nasally resplendent, contented amateur.
Quivering with pride and passion,
I serenade the world at large with mighty choruses,
Today is Sabbado,
time to cheer the week,
Papageno in the shower,
washing his magic flute.