making things: paper/non-paper


Archaic Torso of Apollo

We have no idea what his fantastic head

was like, where the eyeballs were slowly swelling.  But

his body now is glowing like a lamp

whose inner eyes, only turned down a little,

hold their flame, shine.  If there weren’t light, the curve

of the breast wouldn’t blind you, and in the swerve

of the thighs a smile wouldn’t keep on going

toward the place where the seeds are.

If there weren’t light, this stone would look cut off

where it drops so clearly from the shoulders,

its skin wouldn’t gleam like the fur of a wild animal,

and the body wouldn’t send out light from every edge

as a star does…for there is no place at all

that isn’t looking at you.  You must change your life.



In the Bus


Somewhere between Greenfield

and Holyoke

snow turned to rain

and a child passed through


As a person moves through


as the moon moves through

a dense cloud at night

as though I were cloud

or mist

a child passed through me.

On the highway that lies

across miles of stubble

and tobacco barns our bus


speeding disordered the slanting rain

and a girl with no name


wearing the last nakedness


childhood breathed in me.

once, no

two breaths

a sigh                                    she

whispered               Hey you

begin again


again          again

you’ll see

it’s easy    begin again

long ago

-Grace Paley

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