In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Three Poems
  • Arthur Sze (bio)

Synaptic

A peony unfolds in a green vase.I sit to ripen: the mind is a fountainbrimming at the hub of emptiness.

Uncoiling a hose to irrigatea quince tree in the orchard, I sensewater flow before it flows

through my hands. A pilot debriefs:feeling like an irrational number,he yearns to sail to Fiji

but knows fleeing is a mirage.The word artichoke must haveaccompanied an artichoke on the journey

from Arabic into English—must have?—in a zoo, a yellow giraffe.Inhaling, I focus on lifting

vertebrae, one by one, formingnew pathways up the spine. My handsrub myrrh-scented oil on your skin.

The Infinity Pool

Someone snips barbed wire and gathersyerba mansa in the field; the Great Red Spot

on Jupiter whirls counterclockwise;sea turtles beach on white sand. In the sky, [End Page 51]

a rose hue floats over a blue which limnsa deeper blue at the horizon. Unwrapping

chewing gum, a child asks, "Where isthe end to matter?" Over time, a puffer

fish evolved resistance to tetrodotoxinand synthesized it. I try on T-shirts

from a shelf, but not, twenty months later,your father's pajamas in the drawer.

Now the stiletto palm leaves are delineated,a yellow-billed cardinal sips at a ledge.

By long count, a day's a drop in an infinitypool. The rose tips of clouds whiten;

someone sprinkles crushed mica into clayand sand before plastering an interior wall.

Point-Blank

Through the irregular mesh of a web,you shove an inverted vase downbut, instead of trapping a black widow,squash it when the glass strikesthe floor. In Medellín, a man recalls facesbut can't recall what he wrote or saidlast night; fretting at the widening chasm,he runs from x but does not knowif he lunges to his end. Put your fingerson the mind's strings: in the silence,you do not grasp silence—a thoughtlessthought permeates you. Lifting the vase,you gaze at spider legs on the brick floor,the bulk of the black widow smearedinside the glass. A yesterday like today,he wrote, and, in his point-blank gaze,for a second, you are a spider in a web. [End Page 52]

Arthur Sze

Arthur Sze is the author of eight books of poetry, including The Ginkgo Light (2009), which received the 2009 PEN Southwest Book award for poetry and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Book Award in poetry. He is also a translator and the editor of the collection Chinese Writers on Writing (2010). He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-943x
Print ISSN
1045-7909
Pages
pp. 51-52
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-08
Open Access
No
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