Spring 2004 • Vol. XXVI No. 2 Poetry |

Epithalamium

If you twist a rope twist it and twist it no matter how long a rope it is after awhile you cannot make one more turn without skinning your palms and burning the backs of your knuckles and if you lift one hand from the rope to get a better grip the whole thing springs back toward its most direct shape its original being with the fury of a coiled spring at having been diverted from its purpose. Every fiber of its being rolls over on its back the way molecules according to science align themselves magnetically. It is instructive to imagine that the atoms in a rope know where they belong when you see those sad pieces of twine that retail clerks wind around boxes of socks and drinking glasses, from which broken strands seem to reproduce and under which the box strains outward. And it is comforting to acknowledge it when the molecules of a husband align themselves with those of a wife and the iron filings on the desk connect the two ends of a horseshoe magnet underneath as the moon follow

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Marvin Bell, retired from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, teaches for the low-residency M.F.A. program based at Pacific University in Oregon. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Iowa City, Iowa, and Port Townsend, Washington. Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems appeared in 2011 and After the Fact: Scripts & Postscripts (a collaboration with Christopher Merrill) will be released in 2016.

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Art Shoes

By Marvin Bell

If you twist a rope twist it and twist it no matter how long a rope it is after awhile you cannot make one more turn without skinning your palms […]

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