Glimpses into an Abyss
Pausing outside a Montmartre cinema in 1946,
Giacometti glimpses a woman with an astonishing shape.
Inside the Brasserie Lipp, the head waiter’s physique
looks like the woman’s. So do all the patrons:
figures knife-edged to the point of disappearing,
pared to the heft of a shadow.
If Giacometti moves his head slightly,
what he sees becomes more ghastly.
In his cramped studio on the Rue Hippolyte,
the starting points are members of his family:
his wife, his brother, his models.
All excess siphoned away.
According to Sartre, the figures straddle
“nothingness and being,” caught in transition.
Giacometti starts with plaster of paris,
which crumbles easily.
Like him, always on the edge
Poems by Mike Ross have appeared in Speckled Trout Review, Great Smokies Review, The Ekphrastic Review. His book of poems, Small Engine Repair appeared in 2015. He teaches poetry writing at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the University of North Carolina. His second book, Ports of Call, will be published in 2022.
The Ekphrastic Review
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