an exhibition of collaborative works by artists and poets


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When the god and I
began it was not with light
but with the dottle of the bird’s
neck.   After that I swore off

birds, those penitents, tight
sacks.  While the god was
kneading his ball of dust
I watched the trees like TV

Land, waiting for the next
channel to alight.  God
I was a whore for a singing
detective, a Luminal

spray constellating the bed.
Still we continued and planted
the little beans that
unfurled like questions.  Bit

by speckle by twang-twang
we covered a world and with one
finger a road and down the road
we put the sign
Shy Girls Waiting For You.

We conceived
the feeling of being caught in
the downpour in a strange
town without a raincoat.  From there

we invented the human, hit
the bars blinking and the god
said, Let’s die.

I said and only then
did I think back,

back like a rabbit on fire
who can’t know what it’s like to be
put out, not at the moment

he is burning.  It never
occurred to either of us to
think of miracles.  People,
you are brilliant.

The god and I see double.
Beauty and hard beauty,

hard, hard, hard.
Our questions are
our miracles.

copyright Beckian Fritz Goldberg
Beckian Fritz Goldberg

     The Parthenon--East Frieze Panel #856
Apollo, Poseidon, Artemis, Aphrodite

OK, I know about the sparrows
in the dust, the storm of their arrival,
or love like a storm of arrival
and a flight of birds.

I’m the one supposed to be the hard lover,
but even with your sweet smile
and winning ways,
even with your promises
and devotion,

look here--
my arm stretching to touch
your shoulder,

you’ve made it stone
where a moment ago the folds of your garment
were running grass and
you were turning to greet me.

copyright Eloise  Healy
from The Islands Project: Poems For Sappho (Red Hen Press, 2007)

The wind is blowing; the wind bends everything
but the human will.  Thus war and pillage
have written more on the earth's surface than wind.

The Wars, Vietnam, the Greater and Lesser Holocausts,
these names, like those of the Florentine treacheries,
season whatever paradisical truth to poems.

Yet, today, I fall like a blunt object into respites,
walk forgetful among the wind blown shrubs
and brackish estuaries on this day of unplanned sun,

happy to be lost in the world's things,
in all this matter and dura mater, to feel
when I speak, in each word, a sweet tensile pull of a string.

Afternoon light is penetrant, a blank, absented
fixity.  What birds have flown off I will find
in glossaries; old loves I will find in

the mind's book between a cloud and a branch or
a filament of moon in the intense blue.  And perhaps
I will stumble, as in a vision, on all the dead,

mother and father included, lining the shore
of Little Tick Island where they will be busy bowing
to that figure of perfect freedom, their self same minds.

And in the distance, like a memory
of love's midpoint, I'll see the sun flash white
on the salt caked weather sides of twisted trees.

copyright Michael Heller
Exigent Futures (Salt, 2003)
Eloise Healy
Eloise Healy
Michael Heller