Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mr. Grossman

Mr. Grossman
By Elizabeth Dunphey

I wonder if Hanover will ever die.
If this one will just sit on it’s laurels,
A real classy joint
This Ivy College
High on the hill, some white paneled hotel
 to lure in ingenue sophomores
All of it beautiful: part hedon, part angel.

A perfection of icicles
Such unrivaled and terrible snow sweeps
The hill, the river, the thatched homes
Like Dr. Seuss’s evil Grinch.

Dear Buck (I write in my diary to a nice boy)
Forgive my
Transgressions and the sins of the rich people.

Mr. Grossman has engulfed my little life
and if I never write a book like his,
At least he kissed me.

The man I loved
Roney Grossman
His grey blue eyes
Some imposing fire
Piercing through your lies
His ancestors survived concentration camps
The beautiful and imposing nose
His book: Miss Jane’s Sugar.
Sweeping over out one night together
Like brittle leaves in fall.

But this was winter
To keep the facts straight
Christmas Eve
Bitter ice
With Joni Mitchell playing at the party in this rickety bar in town.

I drink Scotch because I am one sixth Scots-Irish
And half Caribbean with long dark hair
And smoky eyes
Roney drinks nothing because he likes to be in control
His flattery never ends
Spins like a dervish
And I fall into his arms that night
Though he’s 65
Older than the aged mahogany tree on campus.

We kiss in Ronny Grossman’s convertible
And I flee quickly
As he tells me:
No woman could ever be a poet like him
Nor anyone as good as Frost.

I reel from his academic phrasing
And cry buckets in my cottage frosh dorm
All at once my innocence capsized
that freezing indifferent night
I suppose I was just pretty.

Like those beautiful good American girls named Amber
Crystal, Rachel, Madeline and Lila
Girls who took it on their back
And at the dining room table
As if the 70’s had never happened

Later, I dialed that boy from home
Buck Mancuso
An Italian boy
Dark eyed
Very nice looking
But he hung up
He had another younger girl on the line again.

I drowned my worries at a Dartmouth frat party
Pure tension
Heaps of beer
Mean, rich, gorgeous boys swaying all lazy
In the corner
Their WASP whiteness, their power
Their Saabs, the hot ticket.

I watched the purple bonfire
And gazed at American kids everywhere
Drinking, leering
So aggressive, so cold
It reminded me of an amazing  book by Art Speigelman that I read once
A comic about the Nazi cats among smaller rats
Something wicked and powerful
Something bigger
And when you’re the biggest, you win.

Elizabeth has modeled, written stories forever, and loves winter.  Read more of her in the Eunioa Review and Milk.

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