February 2008

Robert Gibbons


Robert Gibbons Robert Gibbons is the author of three full-length books of prose poems. Beyond Time: New & Selected Work, 19772007 is forthcoming from Trivium Publications, Amherst, NY. He is poetry and fiction editor of Janus Head.


Wine bottles filled with roses & black-eyed Susans on the outdoor table. Mustard seed landing on the solitary man's sleeve, his cuff, reminding him of the parable, of something larger, biblical, perhaps. A seed equal in weight to the sight of mountains he'd seen: Appalachians & Alps, Mayacamus & Vacca, Black & White. Jewel of a mustard seed. Love on his sleeve urging the right words out.




Also marking a passage in a book: the postcard of Chagall's, Lovers in a Red Sky. Do artists make great lovers? Since the time I read it, in Kierkegaard of all places, I've believed his adage that the source of creativity stems from the immediate erotic. So it is possible that artists & philosophers know more about love than others. Any proof, however, is probably found in testaments made by those they loved. It's worth looking into.



Above Lyndos    

So pronounced, curvature depths of cumulus on the horizon, for the second day in a row, approach the Frieze of the Council of Gods on the Parthenon. Clouds rise up limestone. Broken chevron of cormorants pointing south forms the W of woman before regrouping into the original inscription of her sex. I have witnessed Athena. Not naked at her bath as Tiresias had, his sight supplanted by the wisdom of breasts. Nor the intervening voice guiding Odysseus. But above Lyndos on the island of Rhodes: the aniconic shaft sprung straight from the promontory forehead of her Father.




The same woman who heard the rain of the past days drying in the low green ground cover from the heat of the sun, pointed out a goldfinch on the stone not far away, when suddenly this yellow flew into the air with his shrouded albino mate, out of nowhere, like flames from the dark moss growing in the kerf of the stone where the carbon stain of centuries remains evidence of fire serving memory in ancient eyes. Spontaneous, combustive resurgence of the gods.



To Shake the Heat Off    

A part of summer when even nighttime seems light, taking the earth till 3:00 in the morning to shake the heat off. We weren't any different. Making love to start the day, drinking wine, love again, wine, bodies ablaze, love once again, twice within the once again, wine, some food, & talk the whole way, touching sweating touching, almost wearing ourselves out, in fact, that's the image I want to convey, turning ourselves, as well as skin, inside out for each other, then lying down in a white night riding the continental crust of earth, cooling down at the same rate of inertia, only to get up early for a long walk by the sea before the heat set the whole thing in motion, all over again.  



Robert Gibbons: Poetry
Copyright ©2008 The Cortland Review Issue 38The Cortland Review