“Mythology” – Verse Daily – https://www.versedaily.org/2006/mythology.shtml
“The Apotheosis of Martín Ramírez” – The American Journal of Poetry – http://www.theamericanjournalofpoetry.com/v12-wollman.html
“The Instrumentarium of Harry Partch” – Memorious 8 https://www.memorious.org/?id=180
“Better Light” – Crazyhorse – https://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.”