Persona October, 15th 2017 by

Sum of his Parts

Sum of his Parts

Old man on
curt pavement,
stride in fierce gait.
Pluck out the flinching nerve
hone eyes to glisten
back at pain.
Fast trot, keep to it;
don’t let fig-pinched mouth
bite off the leash
your feet twitch to,
brace it hard
about your hips
strap in parts
that lurch astray.

Suffer weed-sprung brats
to swarm behind
rattling pennies
chanting, “Do us a jig
old granny,
do us a jig.”
They teem like
insects goading
your torn veins
pumping the ground,
cast bets upon
your final round.
The small beat fear
with jeering.

Your feet grind on.
Your eyes float
out the skull
behind the cold
flesh, ashen streets,
revisit elegies
of firm-rimmed days
probe lusty yore-years
spent in mad impatience
waiting for the time
you could become your
definitive element–
like this old man
treading inside
his stern decay–

He never gropes
for his shadow now:
a whole man’s the sum
of his parts and
they can’t become
greater than this.

Old men have such clean bones.

                               The wind whips through them flawlessly.

                                                                            –Mara Lemanis



Mara Lemanis

Biography: Mara Lemanis has been a teacher and scholar of literature and film at Stanford, Yale, and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków; her essays have been selected for 20th CENTURY LITERARY CRITICISM and are included in undergraduate student textbooks in the U.S.

During her work as an archivist for Historical Preservation she investigated and nominated multiple sites in the Dakotas to the National Register of Historic Places. Among her most interesting studies were those of the Oglala Sioux at Pine Ridge and Wounded Knee where on December 29, 1890 the U.S. cavalry massacred members of the Lakota Nation.

In the course of her work she also took part in the communal spirit of the purification ceremony at a number of Lakota Sweat Lodges.

Recently she has worked with the IRC to assist refugees in Oakland, California.

Her father, Osvalds J. Lemanis, was an internationally renowned Latvian choreographer (The Royal Order of Vasa-Gustav V).

She also writes for the Diplomat Magazine in The Hague.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest article are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Marbella Marbella website. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with the author.


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