Two poems from Marsha Pomerantz’s Ravel and Cleave
followed by a note on the author
The Baron Crosses the River
The Baron Munchausen steps to the edge.
Surely this has never been done, but surely he can do it.
He has no need of overhanging branches.
The ferrymen overcharge and anyway ignore his calls.
Not a glimmer of the swimmer in him: little lapping waves dismay.
He needs only purchase. And along with purchase, leverage. This sounds like
business, but is pleasure.
That essence against which to brace one’s being.
A weight in the presence of which to be lighter.
A slip in which to loose the moorings.
A ground from which to launch one’s heaviness heavenward,
arcing across the current to the side where life
He seizes himself by the arm. He knows himself seized.
He raises, he flings, he flails, he sails. He sings.
Flies at work: new food.
Flat chipmunk, all parts revised.
Still cute: cheek and stripes.
Moths are slow this year.
Clap! Wings without fey flutter.
Fur unzipped, in flagrante,
getting done by Death.
A Bambi: round, whole.
Well-bred kid caught in headlights.
So, clichés can kill?
I too bled in dirt.
Got salvaged and sewn up.
One syllable short.
The Baron Crosses the River was first published at quidditylit.org;
Roadkill Haiku was first published in Raritan.
Marsha Pomerantz’s collection of poems, The Illustrated Edge, was published by Biblioasis in 2011; poems and essays have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, berfrois.com, Best American Essays 2016, Boston Review, broadsidedpress.org, Harvard Review, Literary Review, quidditylit.org, Parnassus, PN Review, Raritan, and Salamander. Selections and a statement of poetics are at poetrynet.org. The artist’s book They Run, made from her poem of that title by Claire Illouz (Chérence, France), appeared in 2016: www.claire-illouz.com. Her translations from the Hebrew include poetry and fiction. More at marshapomerantz.org.