Traveling to a Foreign Place

We stay in our own lane, especially at night. It is cold even for January. In my head, I wonder about the low-hanging full moon that follows us out the door. The Celts call it Quiet Moon. The limo driver enjoys our silence. Wolf Moon is my favorite. The curve of the champagne glass cups my hand. My stomach rumbles; we did not grab a bite. You prefer the Shawnee Severe Moon. Maybe it is called Crow Moon? Your hair is wrapped in a different style. I forget to compliment. Your dress slithers when your legs move. The valet opens your door. We slide inside the restaurant. A slow saxophone accompanies the low sounds of a piano. The room dances with candlelight. We do not dance. I go left, you right. We mingle and float across the floor, touching shoulders, shaking hands. How’s work? The kids? Nice suit. Love the dress. Outside, the limo is gone. The grungy street smells dizzy like gas and puke. The neighborhood has aged and changed. The moon hides as I whistle for a cab. 

Moshe Wolf

3 Questions for Moshe

What was your process for creating this work?

I am influenced by things I come across that are in news sources but not the big stories. I am also drawn to photography and art. "Traveling" started out as an ekphrastic poem about a couple at a party at a foreign embassy and then developed from there. It left the image behind and became its own thing. I like to use magical realism and surrealism in my work as well. This can be seen a little more clearly in the homage to Matthew Henriksen’s “Redacted Reflection.” If you are a fan of The Lumineers, you can also see a small "easter egg" nod to the band as I am also influenced by music. 

What is the significance of the form/genre you chose?

I started my manuscript, Not All Moons Are Silver, with a few prose poems before it grew into an entire manuscript of only prose poems. I like that the form is slightly experimental and different, but it also allows for the more absurd and surreal to be better accepted in this form that so clearly echoes fiction.

What is the significance of this work to you?

Hm, this can be taken two ways. Significance of the poems or the format or poetry in general? For me, Poetry allows us to explore ourselves in a universal way, to voice emotion and experience. 

Moshe Wolf is a former house painter and bank teller who stopped writing for twenty years. Wolf’s work has appeared in numerous magazines under different pseudonyms including Chicago Quarterly Review, Tampa Review, 32 Poems, The Missouri Review, and others. Wolf has published 2 books of poetry.

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