Squirrel Hill
Poetry Workshop
It was part of the colossal sun, Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

--Wallace Stevens (1879 - 1955)

Eyes of the author.

Marc Jampole

Marc Jampole is the author of Music from Words, (Bellday Books, 2007). His poetry has been published in Mississippi Review, Cortland Review, Slant, Fish Drum, Oxford Review, Janus Head, Ellipsis, and other journals. Over the years, four of Marc’s poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. More than 1,200 articles he has written on various subjects have been published in magazines and newspapers. Marc has worked professionally as a filmmaker, television news reporter, university instructor, options trader, advertising executive and writer.

July 4th

And the three-year-old at the picnic
said she wanted to play the violin
and I said, just like Joe Venuti
and she said, you’re a Joe Venuti
and I said, you’re a Joe Venuti
and she pulled a tuft of grass and said,
here's some Joe Venuti
and she pointed to a sparrow scratching in the dust
and said, there’s a Joe Venuti
and from a plastic bag she dumped
a bunch of Joe Venutis
and barbecue flames caressed the grilling Joe Venutis
and men threw the Joe Venuti, popping their gloves,
while women slurped the Joe Venuti and spit the seeds
and the sun played hide and seek in dissipating Joe Venutis
and through poplar branches Joe Venuti shadows danced
across the baby’s sleeping smile.

Later, like Marcus Aurelius
observing models of human behavior,
we watched the ducks glide away
after the bread was gone.

Staff Meeting Minutes

Conference room, blah blah blanket walls dissolve
and flow, a plunge in frigid water, blah blah
beat of branches warms your tingling frozen flesh,
incorporated world between two walls of ice,
ha ha horses’ heads on shivering human bodies,
da da disco rats merengue up the glacial switchback
seeking middens of your la la life to come,
discarded menus, transparent inhibitions,
a new caprice in permafrost: motes become beams,
rice becomes worms, wine becomes blood—ka ka
close your eyes, the paper angel wrestling you
is only you the times you win, another esker fantasy—
a higher I-don’t-want-a wah wah want-to-be
until you reach that place that makes you smile:
walls become windows, glossy panes in bah bah bay:
The other side is summer, bathing ladies on parade,
like naked women always, beautiful and full of love

Infinity Finally Speaks

A baby eight is crawling into pock-marked moonset,
boundlessly, where crossing rays of light turn parallel.

Just begin anywhere
        and see where it goes.

Just begin where you are
        and see where you go.

Just begin,

and go on forever, or as long as you can,
reach the edge of the edgeless, the vanishing point,
walk upon a twisting space, a tail-devouring serpent,

I’m going round in circles,
and what’s so bad about that?:
the same place at the same time
the same day of every week,

just another number in the set,
the nonexistent part of magnitude,
but more than that.

Remove a part of me
        and I remain the same.

Add a part to me
        and I remain the same.

I remain.

A baby eight is crawling into pock-marked moonset,
boundlessly, where crossing rays of light turn parallel.