By: Richard Dey
Featured art: Untitled by Richard M. Loving
As the stone shrinks, the form expands.
It’s like sculpting in reverse,
learning about love:
Here’s a Maiden or Aphrodite or Venus,
naked and polished
or is it the Doryphorus or David or . . .
Isn’t s/he nice? The Ideal in spirit and form?
Miss or Mister Universe!
Then, in reverse, as you learn
about the apple of your eye
in revelations you can hardly believe,
(marble with veins like that!
granite with such cracks!),
the stone chipped away chips back
chip by chip, and chunk by chunk,
all superfluous fugitives reuniting,
and not without the dusty air re-ringing
with the tap-tapping of
chisel and mallet, point and hammer,
refilling all the subtle negative spaces
that defined the planes and rhythms—
mound and hollow, ridgeline and gap—
and the warmth that passed
from the sculptor’s hands into the work,
all his perseverance, passes back . . .
until before you grandly stands, unhewn
and cold, a breathless, glacial block of stone,
Lovelessness now reappointed
whose last words (whispered
with chiseled lips lastly parted) were,
“Darling, are you disappointed?”
Richard Dey studied for a semester with Elizabeth Bishop, and under Robert Fitzger- ald at Harvard College, where he was poetry editor of The Harvard Advocate. His poems have appeared in Poetry and The New Republic, among other publications. His books include Bequia Poems, Selected Bequia Poems, The Loss of the Schooner Kestrel and WESTPORT POINT Poems. Dey lives in Needham, Massachusetts.