Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Monday, March 7, 2011

PAUL PINES

WHISTLER’S BLUE/ A NOCTURNE


If a man appears alone
on a bridge

on a snowy evening
walking towards

a series of lights
in a row of windows

he doesn’t necessarily
have a future

or a past he is simply
a point on a grid

part of a composition
that tells us

what it is
while implying it is

more than it says
we follow him

into the night
because of the blue

we want to know
from whence

he’s come and where
he’s going

because the blue
envelops

everything but is
thin as air because

it’s everywhere
like the nerves

of an acrobat
in pain

and we can hear it
asking us

to shed our skins
and follow



***

WALKING RAMPART STREET


Degas the perfect gentilhomme
equally at home in Montparnasse

and Creole streets of New Orleans
an anti-Semite whose best friend

is named Halevi describes woman
as the curse of wise men

but hangs out in brothels sketching
the hilarity and sadness of whores

sprawled on a couch in the salon
waiting for patrons in bowler hats

with trim mustaches like his own
or celebrating the Madame's birthday

all this loose flesh in long stockings
around the seated figure of

a tonsured woman in a black dress
who most closely resembles

the prioress of a nunnery
flanked by the image of a poule

scratching her ass another one
sinking into a mattress

as though she were melting
—it is a peculiar nakedness

makes us feel something soft
but inviolable in their rawness



--------
(Poems are from
New Orleans Variations & Alchemy)






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