2 December 2002 | Vol. 2, No. 4

Blueprints & Material

Working on a foundation reminiscent of a screened-in porch I helped my family build when I was a kid, only much larger. Carting wheelbarrows of sand for the cement mixer & concrete blocks. Old friends showed up, good ones, then a couple I wanted to avoid, even in the dream. Slipped out the back by way of a childhood landscape: Joe's farm, just past the plum trees. Jogged like the wind. That's how it felt: lithe, pounds shed, an obvious wish. Long gauntlet of faces, from the past, both helpful & antagonistic. Finally, I met my wife.

She found the entrance to the museum. Apparently, I'd been asked to do some work on the new wing. I recalled a previous effort of calculation & measurement. The awe I felt watching Maine sail makers create new Dacron sails designed by computers, yet still cut by hand, must have influenced my plan: a series horizontal masts doubling as protective awnings in the shape of sails would grant the structure the illusion of movement. My wife & I carried blueprints & material through the doors ourselves.

Architect there, as was the director, both awaiting unveiling of the installation. Final piece before the opening. Stymied by how my own design was to unfold, I checked a page in my notebook for technical assistance: 'Hold the world to your Soul.' I woke up in pure joy of revelation. First bolt of lightning of the year flashing above the skylight. Prepared to embrace even that.

About the author:

Robert Gibbons is the author of three full-length books of prose poems. New work is online in Istanbul Literature Review and Jacket, and is forthcoming in Ars Interpres (Sweden) and Wheelhouse. He is Poetry and Fiction Editor of Janus Head.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Robert Gibbons at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 2, No. 4, where "Blueprints & Material" ran on December 2, 2002. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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