KEYCHAIN PEEP SHOW
I found it in my parents’ room.
center-bottom dresser drawer,
beneath the socks: a little plastic scope
with a naked woman posed inside,
breasts uplifted, red hair flowing down,
a globe balanced on one shoulder,
like Atlas in my Classics comic book
and seeming from that nether world.
I peeped and peeped again, felt brash
as Peeping Tom, who eyed Godiva’s
plenty as she rode through Coventry,
past discreetly shuttered windows;
randy as the lecher leering
at his master’s wife undressing
in the nickel peep show classic
What the Butler Saw; licentious
as those elders ogling Susanna
at her bath among the honeysuckle.
But I felt more like Howard Carter
at his first peep through the door
to Tutankhamun’s shadowed chambers
when asked if there was anything
inside to see. “Yes,” he said.
—from Rattle #48, Summer 2015
William Trowbridge: “One day while studying for my PhD comps, I came across a group of Howard Nemerov poems in the old Brinnin and Read anthology. I was bitten, seriously bitten, couldn’t stop going back to them—their music, their intelligence, their electrical charge. And then I wrote a poem. That afternoon, I was, to use a John Crowe Ransom word, ‘transmogrified’ from a budding scholar into a seedling poet. But I had neither the time nor the money to go through an MFA program. So, after graduation and in my ‘spare time’ from teaching, I continued my poetry-writing education in the college of monkey-see-monkey-do, happily learning from the poems of great, hand-picked tutors. I still attend.” (website)