Bio Note: In late 2018, in one of his exchanges, Firestone wrote, “I’ve published 47 of your poems.” I didn't know what to make of that. It could have been a compliment, or a reminder that a good deed had been done, or a notice that enough was enough. I never asked, but I do know that once we've been become accustomed to a new addition to our lives, and in this case, online technology, we tend to take it for granted. Recently, I looked at my submissions' log and counted a total of 77 poems that have appeared in Verse-Virtual. I don't know of any other journal where that would have occurred. The following poem, for example, first appeared in a bi-annual print journal that has been publishing a print run of 500 for the past 54 years.
Bridge at Giverny
In pursuit of the changing subject Monet Wanted to paint the air, the air he breathed Inhaling images of bridges Gold boats shimmering buildings bloated he became A cloud among clouds over his ponds, A reflection in a world of reflections Imagining itself . . . Imagining paint flecks in the nervous light, Fleck after fleck, a water music, the music That breathes with perception As with ether or alcohol to take the breath away And the suggestion of the lines they make Distorted as though day and night conspire To take objects from a clearer sight To place them with the unknown In absence of both dark and bright Reflections among surfaces, light on water Wavering the look of the moon, the thin Continents on which we drift, To live the life of dimension, A religion of surfaces, Monet’s vest, The sides of the human face, its clothing of flesh, Looking at the sky in the ponds at Giverny On Monet’s bridge I stood moving Among surfaces, worlds of surfaces.
Originally published in POEM, a journal of poetry, Huntsville Literary Association
©2021 Michael Gessner
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell her or him. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL