Spring 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 2 Poetry |

At the Shore

Clouds, all hovering. Yesterday, like a gull's wing. Soft as the tiniest bird eating thistle. Today, slick as a coot. Hissing like asphalt. Cleared of incense. One could write a monograph on the color blue. In Letters on Cézanne, Rilke compares the shades of sky to those he found in paintings—blue of Vermeer, blue of the Venetians. Poor poet, weaving his theory of solitude on the loom of Paris rain, beginning a novel he would never finish. The hills, the cars, the spires recede. Closed with flecked muslin, sometimes flannel. The shoddy Polish blue of the other side of town, someone always whispering behind the curtains. Cinderblock blue. Proletariat blue. Blue rationed to the back story of history. There's a chill in modern society, Adorno wrote. Clouds the color of a low drone or drake. Cormorant, the impending sky. As if the ferry we need to take to cross the water never arrives. Buck up, little soldier. March on. 

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Melissa Kwasny is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Nine Senses (Milkweed Editions, 2011). Her prose collection, Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision, was recently published by Lynx House Press (2013). She lives in western Montana.

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Letter to the Soul

By Melissa Kwasny

Clouds, all hovering. Yesterday, like a gull's wing. Soft as the tiniest bird eating thistle. Today, slick as a coot. Hissing like asphalt. Cleared of incense. One could write a […]

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