Issue 9 :: Summer 2007 
Avatar Review

Robert Lietz

Eye to Eye

     I'm slipping this boot-legged session in     -- along
with the greying snow     / the scenes     of     civilizations
     gussied up     -- and      -- at their centers    -- decibels --
fabrics     sold     by     weight     or     weave    
     or     coded numbers      -- though     who could be sure    
we thought     -- not     even we     of summertimes    
     / of     cemetery     slopes     spooks     owned     --until    
the northside fathers     moved them out
     for market bargains     -- assuming     their     desires --
no less than ours     -- by so much understated --
     agreed     to new-fangled portables     / to     the lemon
and rainbow ices      kids     licked     as if forever --
     without a song     as yet     -- and     only     the sounds    
of neighbors     practicing    on targets --
     raising their panes     to ask     the little breezes in.  But   
what's     there     to start     -- you ask     -- when    
     Donnie gets out     / Artie back     from publicly ordered
sheltering     -- to undertake     or     prove     -- by    
      the light     at     Axel's Bight     or     at     Mulrooney's --
the scored     and     matching     surfaces --   
     underinscribed     may be      -- as prayer-wheels were
and offerings     -- except     for     these     dead
     I think     -- singing      their1890s aires     in Paradise.
Then     it's     two decades     here     -- feeling    
     the woods' light     -- thinking     of this child you held --
grown now in Massachusetts     -- scheduled    
     next week     for Ashquelon     Jerusalem     Massada --
for corners and walls     where     civilizations    
     weep or celebrate     -- of pictures she'll have to share --
of two vacationing     -- and     this one      of  you --
     from which     she     might remember     -- imagining    
a grandfather's     cupped hand     -- lifting     her    
     eye to eye     -- toward so many birthdays afterwards --
and filling      her own      turned palms     with light    
     as she remembers     -- sensing     the rhythm     / play --
refined     by even     the least accomplishments --
     and     cheered by     all of it     -- even     by     wicks    
I must imagine     brightening     -- or     by the fingers    
     she blows over     -- in lieu     of     birthday candles --
by     even     these woods     this     first     full week
     of real summer     -- these lilacs     / lilies     / phlox --    
sequencing hues     and     D-Day thundering --   
     still     -- in     a new century.

Chemistries 1

     So much in mind     -- whether     twilit balms
or     martyrdoms     -- for     children
     to believe in     -- schooled     in yard-sports
/ in     leaps     of     faith
     or     summer strangeness     in     new places --
/ in sides     worth     thinking through --
     if only     to     unobstructed light     / working
chemistries     / purifications     clarified --
     squeezing     the available     news   
into     new lenses
     / into     the scrapbook
     parody     of


     I've     only this porch     and     this day's wait --
and     this     glass-topped table
     where     the coffee's cooled     -- two    lenses
/ three     -- to     find    
     these      back-lit     silhouetted     crows --
     on    ash     and     walnut limbs     -- waiting    
I suppose     -- as     even
     the lilies wait     -- as     dragonflies     must --
hairies     and     hummies    
     wait      -- for     apostrophes     it might
take     days    to realize --
     while     appetite     / attraction    
teach     an eye    
     ( thank God )     how     joy    
     bright     must


     Maybe we'll walk come Saturday     -- through    
yellow-green     grass    
     / through     woods     again     -- where    
we     have     walked    
     and     wished     / have     let     the cardinal    
puff     herself
     among     spring-woods'     accommodations --
where     summer    
     begins     -- emphatically     -- and
the hairy climbs --
     confused     -- to     the post     below    
her old man    at the feeder --
     taking     this seed     shared    
beak     to     beak --
     until    she's    found    
the     skills      to
     master it.

Chemistries 2

     These birds we know     will not give up themselves. 
And     June     we know    
     will bring out     student pilots     and     balloonists --
as     if     the roses     make it     so 
     / or     the lamb's ear     and     ringing ivy    
nut-hatch     and     hummy    
     find     attractive     -- or     this     neighbor     now --
tugging     her     threesome    
     down     the stone road     in     their wagon --
with     mail    to     see about --
     while     even     the dead    we think     persist --
the coffee      dropping    
     from     mustaches     -- scoring     routes
and     miles    
     of terrain     / the     militias    
arguing     enigmatic    
     victories --


       even     as     we     -- scoouting     the woods light
for     photographs
     we     might     have     thought     impossible --
put     off    
     by engulfing shade     -- but     drawn     no less --
 here     suddenly   
     then     gone     -- just       as     some things    
were     -- the ways    
     a clock say     -- that     hasn't     run    
in     seasons --
     adds     its     contrapuntal     note    
then     stops     -- almost   
     before     it's     noticed --
     the silence     then     
/ the


     trying     on     exhuberance     -- with     so much
to     amplify     / ask in    
     and     sweeten      as     accountings     -- so much    
in mind    let's say     -- in     the crowding    
     / emptying     afternoons     and     summer twilights --
invented     on     long walks home --
     in  rivers  of light     --  inspiring     these crows
/ this     one     tonight     -- into    
     the late blue grey     despite     the forecasts --
even    as     sparse stars    
     weave     / as    boomers     hold off    
and     heads-of-state    
     digress     -- bending     the matters    
/ minds     to     all    
     the ancient humors     -- and    
     the last squads     out    
/ to
     disinfect     old

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