Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sleeping Gypsies and Melancholy Trains

Sarah Brown Weitzman, a Pushcart nominee in 2012, has had work in Art Times, Rattle, The North American Review, American Writing, Potomac Review, The Bellingham Review, The Mid-American Review, and other journals and anthologies. Her second chapbook, The Forbidden and Other Poems, was published by Pudding House in 2004.  She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.  A full-length volume of her poems, Never Far From Flesh, came out in 2005. Sarah’s latest book, Herman and the Ice Witch, a children’s novel, was published in 2011 by Main Street Rag. 
The Sleeping Gypsy

“THE SLEEPING GYPSY,” 1897          

The moon's a witness,
with a scattering of stars

like beads from an abacus,
to this desert scene

fantastic and yet familiar
as a recurring dream

of vague menace where a beast
like angst stands over us.

And like this sleeper,
though we wear cheery colors,

carry a jug and our art about
and trust in the guarantees

of ancient sands and mountains,
will we, too, wake

to find the fierce, fixed eye
of our own lion?
“Gare Montparnasse,” Giorgio de Chirico, 1914
The Melancholy of Departure

Before this painting’s moment
that train wailed its departure

but now a deep hush      
over the mustard yellow street

a hush over the drab olive walls
of the massive terminal

where no passenger stepped out
where no cargo was unloaded,

a scene as gleamless as death,
not the worst of desertions.

“Don’t leave without me.  Take
my hand.  I’ll leave when you do,”

cried my mother, tied to a chair
in the nursing home.  What can

we ever keep but regrets?
A train steams off into the radiance

of distance while in the foreground
green fruit rots under a gangrene sun.

painters and poets

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