portion of the artwork for Richard Weaver's poetry

Richard Weaver’s Comments

These three poems are kissing cousins, related in time and space. Two are distinctly ekphrastic, though not in terms or specific paintings or writings, while the third is a portrait of a dream. Two poems are first-person narratives, while the odd duck out, a somewhat omniscient third person, offers a riddle of light through a “Prism,” filtered into an ambitious dream which denies the existence of and affirms the actual presence of a farmer’s daughter, minus a punchline—what R. Edson called “the deep, uncomfortable metaphor.” Each poem seeks safe harbor through possession and fascination.

“Port of Call” travels by Concorde from a wonderful late-night bar/restaurant on the edge of the Vieux Carre, aptly named POC, to Paris in the early 20th century, when absinthe was real and not banned, and surrealists, in this case, Gérard de Nerval, lived surreally. The port of call’s walls and ceiling were papered with dollar bills donated by patrons, all yellowed with free-floating tar and nicotine from back in the day when such things were considered normal.

“View from the Bath” has nothing specific to let you know it is set in the 19th century, unless you have made a study of hydrotherapy and sanatoriums. What’s made clearer are shades and colors combined with hints of landscape, and other physical details. The last line has nothing to do with Juniperus communis, the modified cones used in making gin, aka Mother’s Ruin, but Juniperus sabina, a bitter, toxic version harmful to animals and man. To my knowledge, it was not used by painters, although it could be rendered down to something like turpentine.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 51 | Spring/Summer 2018