Cinders of My Better Angels
From the echo of his grandfather's vaudeville patter to the sound of his mother's ragtime piano, Michael Magee's work has encompassed dance, theatre and photography projects, radio scripts, and a movie, "Shank's Mare." His poems have been choreographed for dance productions, performed as songs on the C.D. "Vaudeville," on-air for PoetsWest and as podcasts for Jack Straw Productions.
While in England, his play "A Night in Reading Gaol With Oscar Wilde" was produced. He also worked for Billy Smart's Circus in London and appeared on BBC radio, Nottingham and Derby. His chapbooks Ireland's Eye and A Trip to Jerusalem reflect his love of travel and trips to Italy, Czechoslovakia, Turkey and Morocco.
In 2010, along with photographer Peter Serko, Michael was co-curator and co-editor of 20/20: Tacoma in Images and Verse. Three years of chemotherapy and ongoing cancer treatment have contributed to this collection. His prognosis for continued poetry is "good." He lives in Tacoma, Washington.
Poem from Cinders of My Better Angels
SCREEN TEST FOR ANOTHER COLONOSCOPYToday in the waiting room, a photo:
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers hoofing it
his knee bent impossibly back
at a 90 degree angle, she covering him
with a billowing starfish dress.
What angle will I take?
Prone to the world in my hospital
dressing gown, open at the back
while they explore my colon for tumors
Cyndi Lauper’s singing “True Colors.”
In the lobby, they even have a small
screening room—here I imagine re-runs
when I look at the dailies it’s not pretty.
I could use a top hat, walking stick
kicking up my patent leather shoes.
I trip the light fantastic while the camera
tracks me up the derrière, a dazzling
view in full-tinted grainy color stills
spectacular as Venus setting though
I could use another ending.