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October 2004  |  Jacket 26  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |

          Tom Raworth feature

      Andrew Carrigan: Firmament

if it hadn’t been for her extravagantly beautiful legs
and windy hair     no one would have invited greta
the narrow mountain paths     obviously the music of
aïda in the background   and finally the center court
machu picchu at dawn     if only dikembe mutombo
hadn’t been traded to the white sox right before the
jai alai playoffs     we needed more than a forth-round
draft pick     so we sat starving and alone
until greta began to paint an abstract chiaroscuro mural
using only the sun moving along the wall as a template
and too much of one pigment we thought
but the ancients loved it     coming out of the moss to
greet us   handing out multi-colored beanies with earflaps
perfect for the high night air
tropical fruit for breakfast     vegetables at noon
they were all mesmerized by the whir of her dove-like
fingers highlighting the symbols during the exegesis

then the priests showed up     offered a small infant
before the evenings line dancing to a cool reed pipe
as a finale the elders invited greta to mount the heavens
and take her place among the stars    where her twinkling
would rule over them always
such gratitude from the losers   we were speechless
she thanked them with her ankles

Jacket 26 — October 2004  Contents page
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