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Winter 2008, Volume 24.2


Marvin GlasserPhoto of Marvin Glasser.

Marvin Glasser (PhD, English Literature) taught for many years at Pace University in New York City. Since retiring, he has devoted himself to his passion for writing and publishing his poetry.


Looking at the Bright Side

The lifeís fine, Iím content with it.
A blow now and then, pain
over the loss of lover or friend,
boils, bitterness, anomiesó
these are only to be expected.
Theyíre the collateral damage comes of breathing.

But my skin fits well enough,
the groundís held firm so far,
day still follows night, and Iíve managed
to hold on to the conviction that Iím me
and not merely an obscurity of genes.
For whatever thatís worth.

Sometimes, even, when the light slants right,
when the air is composed of the right mix
of moisture and dust, the world turns gold
and rose, becomes a dream of a world.
And the lifeís fine, Iím content with it.
Boils and bitterness get little play.

Iíve also known the ease of the blank mind,
the absence elsewhere, the nothing time.
How the life elides then, moves along
so effortlessly, feels so fine.
Not something that can be willed, naturally,
but falls neatly into your lap.

Still, thereís the little death in the gut,
like a crab clamping down, at three a.m.
Alone. The darkness flowing in and around.
The utterness of whatís to come.
But at nine the life is fine, and content,
bland of face, settles once again.


On a Path Along the Hudson

The river, skin flecked with white,
still lined the path.
The occasional gull still hung
in the blue hollow overhead.
New Jersey hadnít moved.
Nothing was different,
absolutely nothing.

Except for the rat.
It lay on its side at its ease,
its rest profound,
a delicate bloom of intestine
bright and glistening
with fresh blood emergent
out of its underbelly.

It had seemed an idyllís settingó
water and sky, poised bird,
the habitation of a neighboring stateó
a decorous stage for a summerís day.
The ratís presence discomposed.
It shifted the lineaments of things,

drained the color out of them, and the gull
buckled as though hit with a loss of purpose.
On either side of the river
states began to become estranged.
The small death, though, remained fixed.
Nothing in it stirred.


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