Poetry: A Way of Life by Marjorie Welish
A Way of Life
by Marjorie Welish*
The vintner says, "There is no prohibition against putting off
a tourist needlessly."
As a tourist aches, as a tourist experiences the entailment
of Europe without the words and only a wallet to express,
feeling adult but stored within the body of an infant,
you may bathe now
on the stairs
And so when the concierge says that a tourist is one
who does not speak, who does not dream, and who is not born
presupposing our language, we cannot say there has been a violation
if the tourist among us catches the historical entailment.
The concierge does not touch his arm, however,
to remind him of the predatory numbness setting in
and what will follow: feeling foreign from morning to noon.
Even a vintner catches the entailment of Europe.
You may bathe now on the stairs of voices,
but the concierge will balk at linking arms with you.
*At present, Welish is the best professor I have had in grad school. She makes you think before you talk in her classes: something I needed to learn (still learning). She has taught me more than any one single teacher in my life and has help shaped my thinking in a magnificent way. The über cool thing is that she was just awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative writing! I lifted the poem above from here