The 2River View

Mary Moore

The Blue Glass Bottle

blown by Blenko bulges with light.
                Four-sided, widening from
                the narrow throat,
it forms a stylized
                S, a phase of modernity’s
moon, body by Picasso.
Even standing still, it moves.

                This morning soaks it with light
until world can’t bestow more.
                That’s why the glass
casts off light — swatches, scarves — fictive
                tissues of light — fictive
                because we know
light isn’t fabric, yet the fall
                                through glass evokes
whispers like silk in motion.

The bottle darkens to cobalt where
                the narrowing throat
thickens the glass and so
                slows the fall of light;

                but the bottle’s torso
                where glass bows out
cutlass-edge-thin quickens
                it to cerulean.

Space’s indigo amplitude and drape
would stay in the bottle,
                                but only traces
of its blue can halt
in the finally stopped shape.

                There’s pause, a musing
of light in the glass, but also
                a pressure — the lit space inside,
wrapped in the spell of shape.

Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”


Stars so immanent must jut out, cliffs
in the paint, the edges layered, thickened
with the fear of falling. And they whirl, scary hubs
of fire, broken yolk-yellow domes. Difference
or source, where they come from, is the question.
And when did they begin? If we swallowed them,
would we explode, holders of the unbegun?

Upside-down bowls, bee-hives
of impasto so thick they thumb the eye,
they're not quite fixed in the sky-hen's indigo
place. What they become — not rooster, chick, food —
is origin, exposed. Now and then, a weirder
star appears — sky-mine, spiked orb. If you look
too long it explodes into haystacks, bell-ringings, crows.


Each star also goes inward, a spear bite, spiral
Charybdis. Sirenesque yellow, centrifugal,
they beckon and funnel eyes in. Though
yellow like yolks, they don’t become cock-red
boys nor hen-children but whirlpools
of blond light cilia, sky anemones. The literal
stars bitten into our sky are mild,
lacking the acid, iron, bold stares
of his. Astrologers bearing omens
of god descending as bull or golden rain
can't read these: the impasto's opaque
with wishes and guesses. When the hubs break
their oaths to light’s spokes, letting go, whole
stars implode. The wound each leaves is foreboding.

Mary Moore is the author of The Book of Snow (Cleveland State University, 1998), and her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Field, Literary Mama, Negative Capability, New Letters, Nimrod, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Sow’s Ear Review, and more. contact