Jesus Statue Reflection by Francis DiClemente
by James Benton
Our detail is a tug-of-war with three twisted
Copper braids, sheathed in rubber and rope,
Spooled in salt-crusted, hundred-foot lengths:
A three-spined electric core uncoiling into our hands.
Its oiled hide slips across our thighs,
Its belly binds against a stanchion.
Black and crackling, bucking and hissing,
It buckles in waves at the threshold of a door.
Twelve men, rancid with ache,
Heave to, glove over glove,
Bones bending, fever bursting from our backs.
We crawl in place to haul it ashore,
Bridle it with rope, unbraid its convulsions,
Cradle it, drag it straight, make it yield.
We string it, sixteen pounds to the foot, head to tail.
It hangs between hawsers barking against their cleats,
And once subdued, fang to socket,
We cowl it with canvass against weather and rats,
And then—gently, as though it might strike—then
We ignite it.
Down to Business Drawing by Amy Bernays
by Martin Ott
Caught in the spotlight from the rafters,
the actors are blind to the audience,
the audience blind to the expressions
next to them, the moths in the coat closet
blind to everything other than sheer woolly
lust. It is winter outside the brick auditorium.
Grass pokes through the thin layer of snow
like a soliloquy, rightly timed, and passionately
given. The play is a remembered favorite or
an experimental piece where the woman plays
a man or the man different roles. In this way,
the performance is like life. We are always
rehearsing, the snow coming down in flurries,
each tiny actor hanging in air, a virtuoso
performance, before disappearing in mist,
in eyelashes, in two hands pressed together.