Marjorie Becker
Marjorie Becker’s poems are extended montages filled with a harem of mysterious men, torrid acrobatics and the omnipresent strains of Bach played incessantly in the background as well as inside the bodies of her people. She may often be as ungraspable as a cloud or the poetry of Mallarmé: the afternoon of a faun is right here among us, and that is not said lightly in this city brimming with Bukowski and his imitators. Marjorie—our Mallarmé—does not care for the full stop but embraces the comma, the going forward and the backing up, the slight left, the slight right, a zigzagging style that is not meant to be popular or make millions or be sung in church. What she does do is offer us a tour of a most remarkable mind, one suffused with (among other things) memories of growing up Jewish in the Deep South and the Latin American realities she discusses at her day job. It’s a weird heady brew she’s prepared for us, and it is surrounded by dripping candles and gothic shadows and an aura of telenovelas raised to art. It is poetry that weaves its web around the reader shrewdly, uniquely, always uncompromisingly.

Side-Steps the G-minor, A-flat Wail

Me in Macon the second time.
Be straight. Yeah, me Jewish,
you Elijah for all I know.
Me born Macon.
You stranger breaking in,
me known for the shakes,
anxieties, weird courage.
You wanta be here,
this downtown apartment,
crap decorations?
Be my guest.
Gone to the next door black singing church,
the ladies in shiny polyesters,
tulles, hats, their voices capture time,
fill that wooden church
with world.
I stumble in,
barefoot, shaken,
they never miss a note
but one of them
finds me a shawl, a blanket,
a pillow, another sidesteps
the G-minor, A-flat wail,
runs to kitchen, brings me
corn bread, butter,


© 2015 Marjorie Becker
Marjorie Becker was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the February 2015 Second Sunday Poetry Series