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Eyewear is thrilled to be offering a clutch of poems by an emerging poet of some note.

Adam Wiedewitsch (pictured) is a founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art and poetry editor at The Prague Revue. In 2009, he co-founded the international association of writers and artists,The Pirogue Collective, and co-edited the anthology Imagine Africa and The Rule of Barbarism, poems by Abdellatif Laâbi.

He has received fellowships from the Gorée Institute (Senegal), the Eva Tas Foundation (Holland), DAAD (Berlin), The Millay Colony (New York), The Ledig House International Writers Residency (New York) and his poetry has been published or is forthcoming from Carapace (South Africa), New Contrast (South Africa), Salamander (USA) and Azul Press (Holland).

Nature Morte

                In memory of Seamus Heaney

Offal held at bay by a boar’s rugged hide
cannot keep the monkeys, cats, and dogs
from picking up the market-fresh scent
of death. Neither can the paintbrush.
In even the most morbid nature morte
their razor sharp eyes size up the haul in the pitch
beneath the fishmonger’s slab like wolves
forest-black, troops of paws and fangs pinch guts
and grapes the minute the butcher looks away.         
But they alone do not grant the old Dutch
larders and market stalls such ravenous life.
The wild forms of what once were, are,
simply for having been athletic hares
and speckled fawns, catfish and king salmon
before the hook, the last dance upstream.


Commentary On / “Commentary LXIII (van gogh)”

                        after the poem by Juan Gelman

What with his sea-
changes / catching up with
the Dutch preacher
rumored to pace
the Belgian slag / or
the absinthe dragon
at Arles / or any other Zola-
born thrust / burned hot
and out / is
a bit like
wrangling a ghost / yet
without a stroke 
of pretense / that tendency
to think we know
we know / an / other’s
furious worn-out
shuffle / and on a day
when prisons
exiled your mind / you knelt
without two-shits for
self / in his lavender fields /
Las Pampas / if not
for all this Provence /


Communion Freedom Tower

She looks spent but there’s no doubt
it’s me cast over her knees
on the edge
of the subway seat
and by she I mean we
are crippled by cell-phone screens
the off-chance someone might blow us up
or like school kids
we wish to rescind a text
wish we hadn’t read
what we just read
but cannot for the life
of us stop: America, the tower
flaccid from the Q train bridge
by the gold-
leafed East River
is girder-by-girder
our master these days
and don’t ask me why
don’t ask me why she sat up
straight as a shot
when we climbed out the tunnel,
ask me why or why not
another tower
when nothing will ever do.


If Night You Were a City

I’d return in a jacket
of gold leaves

drawn tight
against a city-wind

whipping around corners
and through the button-holes over

cobbled streets
park lanes

cordoned off
barbarian herds

of steel and glass and concrete, ground zero
for the crowds

of absence. We’d lift off
beyond the brick

toward choked-stars, moons
out-shined by neon signs

and by anxious day moons
perched on dark spires

gold lions
we wrap our naïve wings around

to embrace the artifice
of it all

and the reality: the heat here
is unbearable

and I miss the need to be warm
the need to look forward to

nights alone with you
with no morning on our minds

no time
no need to claw through

restaurants packed with bridge
and tunnel drunk
on the filth
and the beauty.

For here
there is no comparison to

autumn as autumn
no snow to justify

a hot drink or a fat meal
the fish is delicious yes

and the beer
even better but it’s not the same.

Some say the grass is greener
as if it’s God

and more
that I try to recreate

New York each time a baobab
drops a beetle

to flee every time
winter floods the sand

to mute the night-
boats eclipsing the mainland sprawl

trading with another language
transformed before my ears:

tell me how you lived
your dream and I will tell you
who you are.

Every night I mean every single night
and with a wingspan

I resurrect in a cool sweat
and off in the distance

there are drums drums
beating the island like drums

and right outside my window
an unexpected laugh

in concert
with the percussive horn

of the ferry
to you.

There’s nothing romantic about this
absolutely nothing

I am reminded of

everything that went wrong
and of everything that went right

but when I wake if I wake
may the flash not wax

our feathers

may it not melt our wings

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