Peggy Dobreer



(Peggy believes “Figs ARE the flushest fruit and Tango is

absolutely necessary.”) 

“Scarlet Billows Start to Spread”

 I grew up learning to eat properly

at the Brown Derby, the Duck

Press, and the Pacific Dining Car.

We always sat next to the dance

floor, the sound of the kitchen un-

pleasing to father’s ear. Likewise

there was a wrong angle looking

into a mouth on a tv commercial

that made him cringe. I learned

how skin could crawl from my father.


I grew up singing lounge music,

making up for Daddy’s infractions

at the Palladium after the war. He

wanted to dance himself to death,

but mother never broke a sweat.


I grew up with Duke and Josie at Dino’s

on the strip. I drank Shirley Temples

with my three perfect sisters in patent

leather shoes, crinoline itching elbows,

grosgrain waist bands cinching our

smiles into place.


I grew up fearing Duke’s lizard grin,

frozen in time between verses of

Sukey Tawdry, and Miss Lotte Lenya,

I was always waiting between sets

for the shark to bite, with his huh huh

pearly teeth big. Look out old 

Macky’s back in town.

– Peggy Dobreer

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher


*The title of this poem and italics at the end are originally from “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer”, a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for Mack the Knife.


“ATOM & EVE” by Anne Norda

Dance with me.
Fold me over in the swirling cape
of your ocean’s breath. Cast me
beneath the coral shores of your
luscious hungry eyes.

Hurl me – spinning like a topsy-turvy toy –
limpid, ragged, splayed against your
crimson crashing reef, crushed upon your
lovely lyric shores.

Oh, send me to the moon,
to the moon, in a torrent of
churning, burning ribs and joints,
limbs and hips and bones and fingers,
spine, bending at the molten core,
backwards beneath our floating toes.

Elbows, held in ceremonial convulsions,
fanning the flames of our communion,
flapping our wings in ancient ritual,
archetypally eroding into a frenzied
celebration, a frenetic flight beyond libido,
a statement of eternal yesterday, unassailable,
unrepentant, anxiously awaiting the dawn.

Your periwinkle eyes, your petrified
thighs, all deceive me and weave me
further in my wastrel’s cave where
in an instant, I find my self: Venus,
Isis, Hera, Eve… Helen of Troy,
slaying every heart, calling
every sword to arms, to my arms,
to my waiting arms, drenched
in a tiger’s balm of instant amnesia.
And I spin and I spin and I spin
in an ever closing spiral,
pointing to the sun.

Like a crazy whirling Dervish,
in an endlessly twirling world,
I surrender. I’m a ballerina bauble,
wrapped up in your electric tango arms.

Photo & Poem by Anne Norda

All Rights Reserved
© 2008