POEM: On The One Hand

A poem by Kurt Kruger performed on July 5 at Deb Koffman Gallery's InWords OutWords (IWOW) in Housatonic, Massachusetts.

On the one hand:

Carpe diem and

Court Fortuna—

We all know whom she favors


On the other hand:

Settle your dust

Then act when

The time is ripe.


I carpe-ed the diem

And pushed

Her away.


Should I have waited

Until there were

No doubts?


(There are always doubts.)


If Lao-tse met Caesar on the field of honor,

Which would prevail,

The exile or

The man who would be king?


Of course, love isn’t honor,

Not that kind of honor,


Because love is not for those

Unable to suffer even

An imagined slight,


Because love is only for those

Brave enough to give

The benefit of a doubt,


Because love isn’t a duel

It’s not that silly.


Love is a dance.


On the one hand:


Take the Nutcracker.

Who doesn’t love

The Nutcracker?


I have at least one thing in common with Tchaikovsky.

I fucking hate the fucking Nutcracker,

An insipid story,

Stilted choreography,

And a saccharine score

Even the composer

Couldn’t stomach.


On the other hand:


Merce Cunningham once said that

He wanted his dancers to move

As if under no compulsion,


Which I took to mean that

The hand of the choreographer

Should not be in evidence,


Which I take to mean that

The movements of the dance are to arise

From the dancers themselves,


Which I take to mean not that

There is no compulsion,

But that the compulsion

Comes from deeper down than

The husk of ritual.


This is how the dance is danced:





Awkward and odd,

If you have expectations;


If you don’t.



If you’re a coward;


If you’re not.


On the one hand… shall we dance?