Summer 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2007 |

Spectral Lines

1. Who passes through the gates of the four directions? Robin coughs as she tightens a girth, adjusts saddle, and, leading Paparazzo past three stalls, becomes woman-leading-horse-into-daylight. Though the Chu army conquered, how long does a victory last? The mind sets sliver to sliver to comprehend, spark; the mind tessellates to bring into being a new shape. When the Blackfeet architect unveiled his master plan with a spirit way leading to a center that opened to the four directions, I saw the approach to the Ming Tombs, with pairs of seated then standing lions, camels, elephants, horses lining the way. I snapped when, through the camera lens, I spotted blue sneakers—but not the woman—protruding from the sides of a seated horse, and snapped a white-haired woman with bound feet munching fry bread. Peripheral details brighten like mating fireflies. Then Gloria pointed to the east, gasped, "Navajos will never set foot here: you've placed these buildings in the ceremonial form

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Arthur Sze’s latest book is The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2021). He is the recipient of a 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation and also of the 2021 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. His expanded edition of translations of Chinese poetry, The Silk Dragon II, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in the spring of 2024.

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1. Who passes through the gates of the four directions? Robin coughs as she tightens a girth, adjusts saddle, and, leading Paparazzo past three stalls, becomes woman-leading-horse-into-daylight. Though the Chu […]

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1. Who passes through the gates of the four directions? Robin coughs as she tightens a girth, adjusts saddle, and, leading Paparazzo past three stalls, becomes woman-leading-horse-into-daylight. Though the Chu […]

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