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On a Photograph Never Taken of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Friends, Manhattan, May 1, 1920 by Benjamin Goluboff

Fifth Avenue had been cleared
and they drove Stanley Dell’s Buick
twelve blocks down the parade route
before a cop chased them off.

This day last year, with all the servicemen
coming home from the big dance in Europe,
there had been real trouble here.
Scott would sell Mencken a story about it
where the moon rose magically over Columbus Circle
when the violence was over.

This year’s visit was a ceremonial return.
The photograph would show three college men,
hors de combat in summer-weight tweeds,
looking not of a piece
with the grey pedestrians behind them.

Wilson is turned away from us,
perhaps watching for more cops.
Scott is talking, his mobile face
too quick for the exposure.
But the camera loves Bishop,
who looks Ivy-aristo handsome
leaning on the Buick’s quarter-panel.
Together with Scott he holds
a hand-written sign that reads:
WE ARE THE REDS
FROM PARNASSUS.


about the author:

Benjamin Goluboff teaches English at Lake Forest College. Aside from a modest list of scholarly publications, he has placed imaginative work — poetry, fiction, and essays — in numerous small-press journals, most recently Chicago Literati, Bird’s Thumb, and War Literature and the Arts. Some of his work can be read at www.lakeforest.edu/academics/faculty/goluboff/

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