Winter 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. IV, No. 4


Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

Oliver Rice



At the top of the score
there are no markings to advise
that the conductor or one of the flutes
ought to have lived for a time
among Hindus or Romans.


As Petrushka is animated at the fair,
nothing on any of the parts indicates
that some cello or trombone
should have known a room
where he felt wasted
or certain he had another chance.
Even in the passage
where the Ballerina rejects him
in favor of the Blackmoor,
the annotations in no way presume
that a bassoon, perhaps, or contrabass
will have perceived, at last,
the truth about her father,
pure and terrible in the photograph.
Not a single violin,
when he attacks the Moor
and is torn to rags and straw,
is requested to have watched the poplars
tremble with an ancient sanity.

Nor when the soul of Petrushka
rises above the Showmanâ's booth.

Not one.


Last Wishes, Old Idolatries

This is how the blood arrives
and surges through.

So silently?

Yes. Yes.

Among such auras?

Yes. Oh, yes. Of fierce attention.
Of allegory and cunning.

Of impetuous disarray.

No. No. Here is immense intent.
Among this litter of dreams and ironies,
subtle discretions are stored.
Stories of the tribe.
Yearnings for perfect significance.
Notes for autobiography.

Banalities. Barbarities.

Maps of walks to take.
A niche for the antiself.
A vacuity in the shape of gods.

That is where dire lies are conceived?
Those are the zones of conscience?

Yes. Yes.
And this is how the blood returns.


© Oliver Rice



Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

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