Robert Gibbons


The whole winter concentrated itself along the roadside when we walked the shore road at the end of February, sunny, close to zero. “Silicates,” I said to myself almost blinded by salts, quartz, sand, glass, sparkling as fine as jewels to those of us who haven’t gotten out & about much in a while. Dark contrast: she was in Chicago just yesterday, up before dawn, driving to a business meeting. Today we’ll take our time. Eventually, keeping up our own paces, she’ll quip, “Walking for me is exercise, for you, an aesthetic endeavor.” Of course she’s right, as usual. I’m conscious of heightening senses, love the biting cold she’s worried over for me, elevating sight, eavesdropping wind, waves, pulling in the coming spring through my nose, tasting damn near everything including sea-ice covering stones, their form, volume. I pick up an old stone hand tool & imagine its use way back then, when fauna was so plentiful men could walk on fish. On fish, swimming. Then I pick up an old rusty nail, compare it to sculpture. Excavate a little plastic brontosaurus stuck in ice. Then another little stone figure.  She walks on way ahead way in shape. I stop for newspapers at Flynn’s.  Two local papers, then the Globe & Times, when two high school girls come in imploring the proprietor to take copies of their amateur tabloid. I buy one from their smiling Irish faces for a dollar. As I get ready to pay for the papers, place my haul on the counter: tool, figure, nail, plastic brontosaurus, I recall the Grimm Brothers’ Hans, who exchanged seven years’ wages in the form of a nugget of gold as big as his head, for a horse, the horse for a cow, cow for a pig, pig for a goose, exchanges the goose to a knife-grinder for a grinding stone for sharpening scissors, & another stone for straightening nails.  Hans felt so happy when the weight of both stones accidentally fell into the river. On the way home I find a lone lucky penny.

Robert Gibbons has published three full-length books of prose poems, and his recent chapbook, Beyond Time was published online out of Dublin. His prose poems have appeared in The Literary Review, Mississippi Review, & are forthcoming from Jacket. He is the Poetry & Fiction Editor of Janus Head.

Current | Archives    Submit | Masthead    Links | Donate   Contact | Sundress