The International Literary Quarterly

November 2008


Gillian Beer
Amit Chaudhuri
Jonathan Dunne
Tsvetanka Elenkova
Ernest Farrés
Paul Giles
Mina Gorji
Geoffrey Hartman
Christopher Lane
Andrew Motion
Wendy O' Shea-Meddour
Tanyo Ravicz
Lawrence Venuti
Stanley Wells
Augustus Young

Founding Editor: Peter Robertson
Art Editor: Calum Colvin
Consulting Editor: Marjorie Agosín
Consulting Editor: Jill Dawson
Consulting Editor: Denise Duhamel
Consulting Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Consulting Editor: Mimi Khalvati
Consulting Editor: Suzanne Jill Levine
Consulting Editor: Margot Livesey
Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor:
Jeff Barry
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Issue 5 Guest Artist: Tom Phillips

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Three Poems by Geoffrey Hartman  


Classical Landscape

Under justicing fires
purging a mortal mass of thought,
Christian mice and Demeter’s piglet
squeak vaguely in the catacombs:
vanquished meridian hallows.
Icarian divinities of air
erect imagination’s defeat.
A verminous blue despoils
you, your carnal hopes, who wait
for nothing, happy with
the sky’s blank, among the stones
lizarding, the taut warm smells
of olive and manure:
prospecting no depth now, equalled.
Even as a tremendous wind invests
both sea and high places, you laud
pure boundaries, idea dithyrambs,
temple thrusts that balance
any cap of sky: the ground absolute,
a firmament, a last resolution.
Who needs gypsy gods in dark chambers?
This is a land without entrails.


Night Piece

Positing traces of nameless feet
amid feathery, overblown grass,
these hunters in imaginary fields
shiver to the margins of an image
and factor the dim light: sun molecules
allow someone to walk there fitfully
through dead orange and coughing dust.
She walks east, her hair laughs, golden
choke open, o, a moment.
As she crosses the sun, she is the sun.
The bird of night streams upward and paints
the sky, her eyes; cloud-lidded
waves trail a reflected blood.
Where are her doves, or equivalents?
Charred chariot of the underworld,
graduated sandals of the dusk?
Dew rises into a nondescript presence.


Buenos Aires

In childhood I lost a city like this.
I walk up and down Lavalle and Libertad:
crowds light up, eating, talking, jostling.
At least I have purposes left over.
A Dulmenic painting steals my eyes
until I resemble a lizard again.
Fictions green and cold as Borges
flicker Incas. The saltimbanques
vanish and recompose: I too
will sacrifice the stone called my heart.
Then a silly girl testing her English
brings back on me an abandoned thought,
the daughter I lost returns this way, always.
Do I need this undying, exitless
memory? I line up for an ice-cream
while my heart continues shopping.
Voyeur, note well: woman and child on the steps
of Our Lady of Victories. Note well
I almost passed that quiet hand by,
that waits as long as a summer’s day.
Note well: this Pieta’s one hand holds
the child,  the other begs motionless.
Inside a large image of the living Christ
bleeds transparently from its neon heart.
My turn at last: I pay the spatula artist
fifty cents in inflated australes,
take (note well) my cucuracha cone,
mouth it to a melt and drift away.