Nijinsky the Puppet
Nijinsky as the Puppet
Was Nijinsky the soul or was he
the ghost of the demented puppet he played?
As the soul, or as the ghost, he learned
to suffer. As the body, he suffered.
His face was painted, he suffered. He fell
forward to hang from his swinging arms.
And fool he was, the one who suffered. As a fool does,
the one suffers. He had not been successful. The expression
was pitiful. The occasion elicited applause.
His back was straight. he suffered.
Staged on brick and stone, he suffered.
The carnival was not joyous.
He danced the Spectre of the Rose as a ghost
of something blooming. He was something
blooming ghosts. He was fall dancing the summer
dance of spring.
The body is a prison for the dancer’s screams to echo in.
The dancer has risen to fill the prison of his body.