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Reginald Gibbons

Reginald Gibbons is the author of Last Lake (University of Chicago Press, 2016), Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories (University of Chicago Press, 2010), and Creatures of a Day: Poems (LSU Press, 2008).  He is the Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University and lives in Evanston, Illinois.  

By This Poet

2

In cold spring air

In cold 
          spring air the
white wisp- 
          visible
breath of 
          a blackbird
singing— 
          we don’t know
to un- 
          wrap these blind-
folds we 
          keep thinking
we are 
          seeing through

After Mandelshtam

To the futile sound
of midnight church bells,
out back someone is
rinsing her thoughts in
unfathomable
universal sky—
a cold faint glowing.
As always stars are
white as salt on the
blade of an old axe.
The rain-barrel's full,
there's ice in its mouth.
Smash the ice—comets
and stars melt away
like salt, the water
darkens and the earth
on which the barrel
stands is transparent
underfoot, and there
too are galaxies,
ghost-pale and roaring
silently in the
seven-hundred-odd
chambers of the mind.