III Who has removed the typewriter from my desk, so that I am a musician without his piano with emptiness ahead as clear and grotesque as another spring? My veins bud, and I am so full of poems, a wastebasket of black wire. The notes outside are visible; sparrows will line antennae like staves, the way springs were, but the roofs are cold and the great grey river where a liner glides, huge as a winter hill, moves imperceptibly like the accumulating years. I have no reason to forgive her for what I brought on myself. I am past hating, past the longing for Italy where blowing snow absolves and whitens a kneeling mountain range outside Milan. Through glass, I am waiting for the sound of a bird to unhinge the beginning of spring, but my hands, my work, feel strange without the rusty music of my machine. No words for the Arctic liner moving down the Hudson, for the mange of old snow moulting from the roofs. No poems. No birds.
- Mark Olival-Bartley
- As the resident poet at EcoHealth Alliance, my verse finds inspiration these days in the spectre of global pandemics. At LMU Munich's Amerika-Institut, where I tutor composition and poetics, I'm reappraising the sonnets of E. A. Robinson for my dissertation. I also teach at Münchner Volkshochschule and Amerikahaus.
In the Village
by Derek Walcott