About Me

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Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now writing a dissertation on the sonnets of E. A. Robinson at LMU, where he tutors composition alongside editing flyers on poetry and style. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor at Review of International American Studies. He also teaches at Münchner Volkshochschule and leads the Amerikahaus Literaturkreis.

20160731

Most Like an Arch This Marriage

by John Ciardi 

Most like an arch—an entrance which upholds  
and shores the stone-crush up the air like lace.  
Mass made idea, and idea held in place.  
A lock in time. Inside half-heaven unfolds. 

Most like an arch—two weaknesses that lean  
into a strength. Two fallings become firm.  
Two joined abeyances become a term  
naming the fact that teaches fact to mean. 

Not quite that? Not much less. World as it is,  
what’s strong and separate falters. All I do  
at piling stone on stone apart from you  
is roofless around nothing. Till we kiss 

I am no more than upright and unset.  
It is by falling in and in we make 
the all-bearing point, for one another’s sake,  
in faultless failing, raised by our own weight. 

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