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Virginia Konchan

Two poems


The effort was called reconstructive,
but it was mainly just effort, windbag
trailing windbag, dense ringing

of hands. In Nazareth, a trail of protozoan
sperm replaced that of blood; in the Ozarks,
and in Ohio, where Indians of various sects

strove and strode, the tears remain.
Goodbye, Paris. Goodbye, longitude.
The étoile, for a summer dress,

was stubborn, and the drink went
everywhere anyway, humiliation
of crimson on white. How utterly

unremarked-upon, the Last Hour
of the Lamb. How lion-like, the
rouse and roar, of the Lion.

Midnight in the Rothko Chapel

His final vision was progressive: one dark ditch
after the next. He wasn’t present at the celebration
for the eclipse of color, having slit his wrists some

weeks prior. The viewers stood respectfully before
the outtakes, idea of incredulity unearthed from
where it lay buried within the idea of a camera,

whispering what the hell. Rothko’s ‘mute icons’
are the only beauty we find acceptable today,
intoned Dominique de Ménil, founder of the

church, in an attempt to naturalize 41 depictions
of despair. She was an art lover, unlike Rothko,
unstylized soul, and the Byronist in the corner,

feebly opining that the exhibit reflected the last
gasp of the romantic, before the primal scream
of 1898. That would be Munch, recoiling at the

prospect of a world ruled entirely by self-interest.
We called this the Industrial Revolution. Call this
the death of the soul. The echo thereof, hell.

Virginia Konchan

Virginia Konchan

Virginia Konchan’s poetry, criticism and translations have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Believer, The New Republic, Michigan Quarterly Review, Rain Taxi, A Trunk of Delirium and elsewhere. She is also a contributing reviewer to ForeWord Magazine.

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