Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Robert Gibbons

Another Kind Light

A kind, autumnal light remained under my lids when I shut my eyes on the commute in today. Reading an old book I noticed the price & what it cost back then, how really little money I had, & got the book, regardless. I can't run out of words of praise for you. The naked light you carry around the house, the cleanliness you cause like rose petals on linen cloth. Our pristine luck! Just yesterday we parked under a fledgling hawk perched in the lower branches of the oak, utterly fearless. Its feathers tufting in the wind, its eyes. A minor premonition to your hair & stunning look in the cold on our long walk later. Kind light remained under my lids this morning like Goethe's death, or fond memory.

Nativity with Dance

                  for Kathleen & Karen, Thea & Avry, &, of course, Nana

A single surge of love occurred, less than momentary, it could have been lost if I weren't used to paying attention to such subtle internal sunbursts. Just a curve in the road, & blam, her birth. In four days we'll celebrate the ritual of the return of the day of her birth. That quarter-second flash shot forth associations of nativity with dance. Granted, Coltrane chanted minutes before, "A Love Supreme, A Love Supreme, A Love Supreme, A Love Supreme, A Love Supreme," & granted, I connected it to the time Joe Schuyler first turned me on to it, naively thinking then how beautifully romantic a piece it was instead of the spiritual thrust Coltrane aimed at. Also recalled the time I met Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on 7th Street in DC, when we shook hands, & talked about ambition & dance, but yes, when the flash blam of love surged concerning her birth, I thought, too, of her recent revelation that the day before that event her mother was on the dance floor at the reception of her own brother's wedding, jitterbugging with the best of them, the rest of them you might say, not with child, & as she said, "The next day the twins dropped out."

I figure the twins came out dancing, because to this day she's about the best I know, outside of Judith Jamison in her prime. The time in Cannes the guys were falling all over themselves to join her. The times we're alone, under the influence of wine, pairing up, & she makes moves no choreographer has yet recorded, kinesthetically responding to my hyperactive jolts which look more like pugilism than dance, & she is black in the dark with the jazz on reaching everyone's shared African roots shaking into a state of movement alone, to the extent that I thought of her again a few miles down the road when the green heron soared over wharf rooftops, a bird I could identify in the grey sky not from any noticeable color, but from strength of wing-beat, through its actions alone.

©2002 by Robert Gibbons

Robert Gibbons was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his poem "Ode to New York City," published in our Slow Trains summer issue. His third online chapbook of prose poems, To the Music of mid-November Rain & Snow, is in the current issue of Snow Monkey. A review of his third print chapbook of prose poems, This Vanishing Architecture, is in the current issue of Janus Head. His prose poem "Shattered Glass is a Symbol of Unity," is an Editor's Recommended Selection made by Kimbra Martin, Poetry Editor, in the upcoming issue of Small Spiral Notebook. He has work currently, or forthcoming in 42opus, The American Journal of Print,Carnelian,The Drunken Boat, Frank, The God Particle, In Posse Review, Minima, Sometimes City, and Three Candles. He is poetry editor at Gargoyle.

  Home Contributors Past Issues Search   Links  Guidelines About Us


Subscribe to the Slow Trains newsletter