Nick Piombino’s collections include Theoretical Objects (1999) and The Boundary of Blur (1993), both released by Roof Books. Recent work appears in The Poetry Project Newsletter, Chain (#9, dialogue with Barrett Watten), L’ Bourgoizine, Score, Poets Against The War and Muse-Apprentice-Guild. Visit his home page at the Electronic Poetry Center or his blog here.






                                                Drew’s Atlantic Sky


                                                                                                (after “Black Atlantic Sky” by Drew Gardner)*


                                                With a circle

                                                you are inside

                                                or outside

                                                I’ll take a more

                                                meandering tone

                                                to speak to you in

                                                and perhaps the killings

                                                will stop


                                                The principle of complementary

                                                particularities will wither

                                                if it does not encompass

                                                a surface

                                                and a strident grade

                                                of similarities


                                                Ghosts are humble

                                                Doorways submit

                                                to a purpose

                                                they don’t understand

                                                a grain runs under them

                                                in the darkest ocean sky

                                                a formula deserts the stage

                                                now I remember


                                                So that’s it

                                                endings are created by space

                                                an ending embodies an answer also

                                                (that’s heavy

                                                take your time)


                                                A line of poetry is formed of echoes

                                                without the answers I don’t realize

                                                that the truth has the sound

                                                of a different voice

                                                here lines are dropped

                                                like incandescent extrusions

                                                of verbal sparkle

                                                I heard several strands

                                                at the same time

                                                and understood

                                                the harmony

                                                consists of



                                                It‘s like a refrain

                                                that can be read just as

                                                beautifully in its entirety


                                                why shouldn’t the

                                                refrain be part of the

                                                solo too

                                                this is going

                                                back and forth

                                                but the whole duet

                                                is contained in the poetic



                                                Although I decided not to

                                                write this

                                                over and below your lines

                                                I pictured this being seen

                                                that way

                                                I like the depthless sounding

                                                in your Atlantic sky

                                                it makes me want to                    

                                                imagine living

                                                under it

                                                its sunsets repeat themselves

                                                in the entwining

                                                rings of the tree

                                                (the tree the three)

                                                 and are yet unfortunate


                                                Harborings are travels

                                                each image has a separate voice

                                                a kind of thumbprint

                                                I see them on a piece of glass

                                                cracked devices


                                                Sure I gave it my own spin

                                                the indifferent turn of phrase

                                                torn of a planet

                                                a half turn

                                                to day or night


                                                If what is important

                                                goes unremarked

                                                we are rendered impotent

                                                if feelings are considered

                                                imprecise they are still


                                                what occurs is as much interpreted

                                                as it is articulated

                                                in the midst of distractions

                                                he saw the entire schematic blueprint

                                                of its conception






* “Black Atlantic Sky” by Drew Gardner was published in Sugar Pill  (Krupskaya, 2002), and originally by subpress as a broadside in 2000. When the author told Drew Gardner of this work which was written in response to his poem he said he meant for his poem to be responded to this way.