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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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     If hands had not been given up or out --

if hands abandoned love --

wouldn’t they vanish from     -- vanish

with these steps     -- into these lives

made flush undoing the creation     -- vanish

with the face of Beatrice     -- of

Laura     -- Juliet     -- and with the industry

the spooling centuries

stood on     -- and with her cagey gaze

and complicated smiling

/ these eyes that look like looking ahead

in time     -- inspired

to understand     -- inspired

to fathom heft

and what’s become




     An arm in airy light     -- meeting the seas

straight on     -- Visconti  --

say it     -- and     Visconti     -- say it again --   

charges the heart made hard

by ill-design and substitutes    -- affecting

this textured place     -- because

the fishermen     -- the voyageurs     -- in hues

and     waves     will read

the face of the new century     -- the corals

built in time     -- built

in these troths      / these     texts    


the rubble and mad scripts    

/ taking the thrusts



     and     (page-to-page )     the brunt of history    

/ the  snake-coiffed nightmare   

dissipating in flat worlds     : a     sentence

begun and lost     --

found     in these faces     overcome --

in the mad spans    
and fevered minimals      -- and     in

the frauds

extemporized     / the catastrophic

null     -- and     in

the moods     made strange   

/ and in the moods




     Think of these faces made by light     -- and

by light-letting panes     -- seeming

to praise the hands that set the daylight in its place --

the hands at home with tools    

that had their home in the green planet --

a sentence begun and mused --

starting with the nods you almost sense

from the Twelfth Century --

figured as corals build in time --     as the dawn light

builds     -- in the eyes of village couples --

and in the eyes of voyageurs    -- Buonaratti --    

say it again     -- in the green-bronze

sinewed stone the craftsmen turn    -- Botticelli --    

say it again     -- i*n the words made known --

along the edge of perishing     -- in the gaze

of village kids     -- their     palms

and fingers memorably intent     -- and

in these forms come right --

come on dimensionally     -- these

happy properties    -- meaning

nothing     / less      than    





     Raphael     -- say     it     again      -- finding

these fruits     more full    

/ filling the tastes of voyageurs     -- Uffizi --

say it     -- and     Uffizi     -- say it again  --

the teal and pearl     made to breathe     -- and

the cloud-flecked lapis     -- moved

by charge and discipline     -- a sentence begun

and lost     and found     -- in the voices

of village kids     their families     pull behind   

in brilliant wagons     -- building

their lives ahead     / decades ahead     -- as

sure as skin will seem to be     --

and     as these stones     would seem to be --

speaking     ahead     in time -- 

in the oceanic flash      / and in the tones

affecting field     -- the tones


in redirections of the sketchbooks

/ refused     and     brought



by     saying


                                 -Professor Robert Lietz

[Pushcart Nomination]