Leveler Poetry Journal
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The Humanist

Love, like poetry is

a kenosis as Bloom says, or

an emptying. It is the inexactitude of

the measure of the self

the terrible widening of space within space

an anti-clarity which is the clarity of being

within oneself and this is what the Greeks

called Eros:



wavering-repetition and


of the incompleteness which is love.

Just the intuition that I am

not as separate as I once was

when I wanted to kiss Olivia in the supermarket

when she told me that she had left him

or that evening last spring when I decided I wanted to be a painter

and did that portrait of a naked woman in red.

The soul is image ensnared in sound

which ripples out infinite into empty space

and we need to just

put up some obstacles so that we may


the soul

and so capture it back in the center of itself.

We are always


in search of a mending.


souls rent,

by the bumping about in the dark and so getting caught

on nails.

It is not the absence of ideas

but the absence of real ideas

about real things

not just tables and chairs

but love or painting or literature:

I still think about

Gloria taking out a copy of Hopscotch (English for Rayuela)

from her purse when we met outside the Notre Dame that night last summer

to see if

I had come there for her, La Maga

as she were:

to see if I understood that life must be met

with some idea bigger than life, some


which cannot be reduced but is yet not

some grand edifice of rationality::

Molly Bloom’s soliloquy,

Mrs. Dalloway buying flowers


Debussy while it rains.

The plainness of art or truth,

the correspondence of life within life

like a glob of blue genius in a white room

folding out and collapsing upon itself trying to attain

a shape.

Rilke studied Rodin, watching the

master in his studio


by the stillness of the old man who had


been able to make love tangible

and had let trembling Eros dissipate

into the shape of time which is image:

And it is

the thought of Olivia in her kitchen with the windows open and nobody

in the house which we agreed was lovely in spring but so terrible

in winter.

It is like Rilke’s panther, life radiating


into life

so that life

is imaged as it


in the intellect

of love.

Matthew Gasda