The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

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MAY 2022 Issue
Critics Page


Van Gogh

How fragile it is,

          This violent waiting for the imminent disaster like a missile out of sight

But drawing close. The rough, almost-feel of it in air. But he walks out into the field.

          The sky is a whirlpool of light. A star burns past the data trails and unfurls rootlessly

Into a flower.

The Surface

But how can matter believe in itself, it is so full of breakages, dissolvings,

          Its hushed deployments of undo and scatter

Where the surface grows more toxic and less free. The world slowly extinguishing itself,

          Dissolving toward a vagrant, larval dark. Myself within it, intricate, dissolving.

There is no single world. The ice-fields are broken.

          The trees leave a perplexity of shadows on my skin.


The brittle cannot darkens over the road, the snow,

          The never-calm of the infinite forsaken. All that’s real rots and crumbles into dust.

But out of the depths of suffering, inside the tower

          Another plane of freedom begins to take form. Would I like to be a comet? Yes.

For they are the children of purity and have the speed of birds and flourish in the fire.


Laurie Sheck

Laurie Sheck is the author of the novels A Monster's Notes and Island of the Mad as well as 5 books of poems. She lives in New York City.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

All Issues