“Mythology” – Verse Dailyhttps://www.versedaily.org/2006/mythology.shtml

“The Apotheosis of Martín Ramírez” – The American Journal of Poetryhttp://www.theamericanjournalofpoetry.com/v12-wollman.html

“The Instrumentarium of Harry Partch” – Memorious 8 https://www.memorious.org/?id=180

“Better Light” – Crazyhorsehttps://ojs.library.cofc.edu/index.php/crazyhorse/article/viewFile/6077/5567

Paper in Autumn

Each time the brigands arrived to herd them
onto airless trains,
to Terezin, Zilina, finally to Poland,
Armin fled to the grove.

No camp could contain him, not until
he met that woman from Trencin
who gave him a beautiful boy.

Then the wood lost its hold on him,
his anonymity gone,

the trees turned to paper, yellowing
before his eyes,

all of them inscribed with his name, rooted
in the certainty of the earth.

He tried to bury himself in the grass,
to rub the sweet, dark dirt on his skin.


Our family was fed to an open fire.

Armin left the grove in autumn
to join the transport with his wife and child:

the sweet smell of her skin captured him,
the boy’s soft hair.

I tell you, he was the only one whose death
was not witnessed.

We wait for news. No one believed
the flames would reach him.
Nothing was written.

from New England Review, Vol. 25, #4.

Richard Wollman’s fiercely affecting “Paper in Autumn” resurrects one family from the fire of the Holocaust. (New Pages)

Relativity in America, 1936

In Europe, Einstein needed to think fast
to keep things from occurring 
at the same time.

                                It was a universal now 
he was trying to prevent. Why not
give to each his own time and fiction
to stave off death?

Hadn’t signals been embedded
in the Vienna evening?

                                Der Nachtfalter:
a nightclub’s flashing light.

Three German youths descended on Gödel,
the blows cascading on his head,
pounding the time into him,
fixing him in place.

                                He was a moth
navigating the false signals of the moon
only to flit against an ordinary light
in America,

welcoming eternity in a small room
with no distinction of tenses.

He began to walk. He walked with Einstein
muttering of the universe 
in eternal German.

Were they walking westward
to meet their younger selves?—

two signals flashing back and forth,
where they were glad and the world was
all before them.

Winner of the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, selected by Susan Howe

Evidence of Things Seen

Up and down the walk, bending with the river,
the crowd clattered and slapped,
looking for images to match what was in their books.

I was beneath them on the bank of the Sorgue,
staring at water so translucent—
no depths out of eye's reach.

A mile up the path
Jacques Cousteau sent an electric eye
a thousand feet down
to find the source of the resurgent spring.

The probe exploded before it reached the sandy bed
without disturbing the quiet pool

where Petrarch had a vision,
real as his own breath,
and in his seclusion must have known
why the eye is a sad traveler.

In Richard Wollman’s lovely “Evidence of Things Seen,” lines vary in length as a mechanical eye dropped into a river by the underwater explorer Cousteau unexpectedly bursts, failing to ruffle the pool.”
—X.J. Kennedy