Geometry of motion: the pinpricks of stars behind
moving clouds reforming into instants of fungus.
World’s tallest building in the revolving foreground.
Player piano script unrolled on the green park bench
near boulevard Magenta. Strawberries for sale in the market,
three coins a pound. The butcher is disassembling a leg of lamb:
his left hand is a hook. Still lifes of meat in the window.
“. . . in the grotto of Our Lady of the Cripples, a girl
placed a plastic rosary around a statue’s wrist
that melted in the hot light of the votives. Her prayers–
balls of burnt wax at the figures’ unclothed feet.”
Maps to everywhere lead to nowhere where there’s
the always of never, never again. Cave housed
with bats unfolding like tricky scissors, or airs of night time.
Stamps on a letter canceled by mascara.
Black and white of a photograph of the canal
and the train station behind. The engine house switching
round like the handless arms on a watch.
On the inside cover of a matchbook there’s
an advertisement for a new set of teeth;
dentures sent through the mail, echo of Van Gogh.
Woman at a loom weaving a canvass of henbane. The spool
turns and flax is taken up onto wooden beams. The thread
passes between her lips– dragon flies land ringleting the pond.
Stitchwork of concentric circles left by the skipping stone . . .
Philip’s recent work appears or will appear in Connecticut Review, Basalt, Santa Fe Literary Review, New American Writing, Poetry Salzburg Review and has appeared in Best American Poetry. His book, Rues, was recently published by Blue Light Press of San Francisco.