Spring 2001


Robert Gibbons


Embers only. A good pile with a peak rising in expectation of more lava about to erupt from below. Soundless beckoning. Slowly someone is drawn down from her homework, a paper on Erikson's dichotomy between self-absorption & generativity; the other, also a teenager, concerned with nail polish covering nubbins she's unable to keep out of her mouth; & their mother, after hours on the computer. Slowly, they congregate, languorously together, felines, the embers' high-pitched wail a loose tom behind a wall. Supine, prone, bodies sideways, pillows, throws, pure Egyptian joy to watch the tactile stroking of foreheads forearms neck. Sparks give way to darkness. The youngest gets off the floor hoping for a phone call. The scholar goes off hoping for an insight into self-examination. Although the mother, lonely, unadorned, far from abandoned, struggles up to bed, something of her remains at the edge of the hearth, until the embers turn to ashes, & again, her recollection metamorphoses them into snow.



Robert Gibbons


Once the sacred character of the body
is recognized the cosmos wheels into line. - Henry Miller

Wind pushing light all over the place outside. Cold, another wall. Physicists now say the universe is limitless, all theory must be reformulated. Talk which ignores the substantive core of the human body is useless. Recently I picked up a book of anatomy illustrated limb by limb, organ by organ, with color photographs. It's a complex, horrid mass of cells after the living skin is gone. When are you coming up to bed?

Robert Gibbons has had five chapbooks since 1980, including OF DC, published in collaboration with Robert Rauschenberg, who designed the cover. Guy Davenport responded to the book, "It is admirable & astonishing." Sam Hamill, in a review in Bookways, wrote, "Anyone familiar with Thelonius Monk's music cannot help but hear the quirky syncopations of Gibbons's mind fitting perfectly with those of the pianist." He spent a good portion of 2000 on a prose poem project "which I've tracked online in two columns in a little e-zine out of Switzerland."



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