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Uninvited Reader

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She notes in the poem she's reading where the disembodied
voice speaking encounters "an ugly old woman"
just momentarily, in part of a single line, in one
of the many long corridors and sharp turnings of the poem,
so that she's quickly lost to view. That's me, she thinks,
I'm an ugly old woman, I who sit here reading this poem
and its ugly old woman phrase and the poet, when he stumbled
over her splayed, swollen legs, registered her presence,
her inheritance, her baggage of limitations-ugly, old,
woman-but never knew, couldn't, because who could
know, who can stop and know her ... And this reader keeps
thinking, loving, understanding, trapped in her eye
following the voice on and on while somewhere back in the poem
in a blank passage an ugly old woman sits against a wall.


Albert Frank Moritz, "Uninvited Reader" from Conflicting Desire. Copyright © 2000 by Albert Frank Moritz.  Reprinted with the permission of Ekstasis Editions.
Source: Conflicting Desire (Ekstasis Editions, 2000)
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Uninvited Reader

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