Running Into The Ex: Ezra Pound’s High School Girlfriend

(1913, Cheltenham Township High School gymnasium; light refreshments are being served; “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” plays in the background)

EP’s HSG: Ezra! Hey. Hi. I wondered if I’d see you tonight. Has it already been ten years? My goodness. How’s your new renaissance going? I know I must look a fright — I married Jim Brady and we just had our second son, and since Jim’s been bedridden from a tetanus infection he picked up at the cannery, I’ve had to take on extra work as a seamstress in the evenings so we can buy coal. Sometimes we can, anyway. I made this dress myself with whatever leftover fabric I could scrounge together, ha. Do you like it?

EP: Make it new.

HSG: Oh, I… I did make it new, I mean, I made it myself. I guess the fabric’s pretty old. So, life’s pretty good, then, generally speaking?

EP: Go in fear of abstraction.

HSG: Um.

(scene ends)

(1943, Cheltenham Township High School gymnasium; light refreshments are being served; “Stormy Weather” plays in the background)

HSG: Ezra. Right. Hi. I hear you’ve been… busy.

EP: I do not want my compatriots from the ages of 20 to 40 to go get slaughtered to keep up the Sassoon and other British Jew rackets in Singapore and in Shanghai.

HSG: (pause) Let’s not do this, Ezra.

EP: You let in the Jew and the Jew rotted your empire, and you yourselves out-jewed the Jew.

HSG: Goodbye, Ezra.

EP: (yelling after her) They’re working day and night, picking your pockets. Every day and all day and all night picking your pockets and picking the Russian working man’s pockets.

(gymnasium door clicks shut; scene ends)

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