April 24, 2012
April 25: Woman, Asleep, With Her Head Resting on The Classics of Western Drama by Kirk Robinson

Woman, Asleep, With Her Head Resting on The Classics of Western Drama

Something tells me it’s not Aeschylus or Oedipus
she’s dreaming of, or Estragon embattled with a shoe,
as she’s splayed out on this bench, on this campus,
on this day when maybe she’s heard all she wants to hear

about Mankind’s great themes. She knows Willy Loman
inside-out, even wrote five pages “On the Function
of the Staircase in Brecht and Miller,” but what
has that got to do with her own bills to pay?

She could have named The Theater of the Absurd
all by herself. Didn’t she want to jump from Genet’s
humongous Balcony? Hasn’t she herself, too often
recently, been A Character in Search of an Author,

or Paper-topic, an extension to the none-too-metaphysical
Due Date? She was smart enough to leave Pinter’s Birthday Party
before the hardened cake, the bitter ice cream, and you don’t need
to be the least bit bookish to see her professor

as a Rhinoceros. And without a doubt, the required text is
thick enough to serve as a pillow. Maybe that will clinch it,
and this will be the one she doesn’t sell back to the bookstore
for far too little, but what about right now? As she dreams herself

into a lovely field of beans, riding a green tractor, her tomcat
sending her smoke signals from a windbreak of trees…
What does any of this have to do with Desire Under the Elms,
here, on a Tuesday, when there is nothing better to do?

—Kirk Robinson (Lake County)

This poem was originally published in Poetry Northwest.  Kirk Robinson is an assistant professor of English at Calumet College of St. Joseph. He received his MFA from Ohio State University in 1998. His poems have appeared in a number of literary journals including Poetry Northwest, American Literary Review, RATTLE: Poetry for the 21st Century, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He lives in Munster, Indiana, with his wife Kate and their three children, Audrey, Magnolia, and Leo.


Posted In: Miscellaneous

2 responses to “April 25: Woman, Asleep, With Her Head Resting on The Classics of Western Drama by Kirk Robinson”

  1. Mike Lohre says:

    She could have named the Theater of the Absurd all her herself.

    Love this poem. Great job and thanks for sharing, Mr. Robinson.

  2. Kimberly licorish says:

    This brings back memories and yes, those damn biology books were sold back for far too little. Perhaps the drool stains was a factor? I really enjoyed the imagery in this poem.

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