Issue > Poetry
Todd Portnowitz

Todd Portnowitz

Todd Portnowitz is recipient of the 2015 Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets for his translations of Pierluigi Cappello. His poetry, essays, and Italian translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Narrative Magazine, Southwest Review, Guernica, Virginia Quarterly Review, PN Review and elsewhere. He lives and works in New York.

Wave Hill

A barge has stopped moving entirely.
The sun has stopped setting
on the lip of a bluff
to a skipping record of birdsong
and laughing children.

Something is moving, it must be,
something the artist can't freeze
in a twilight landscape,
though even in casting the spell
the wand stands still.

What then is being bought
in a third-rate Picasso
for seventy-nine million dollars
but a fleck of stopped time,
the chance to fidget

in a cube of ice
and wait for sunrise?
Who'd ever raise
such baroque opposition
to the earth's rotation?

When Goliath fell he fell
and the stone fell with him.


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