Jul 17, 2017

There. Here., poems by Stan Sanvel Rubin

What didn't work the first time
won't work the tenth. This is true
of everything structured by desire
which continues to beat against walls
as if they can dissolve with repetition.

This is a problem in all relationships
that begin in image and end in dreams
that nag though night with what
never was and could not be.
In between these stages comes touch.

The Engineer's scale is divided into tenths
that are subdivided into more tenths
and so on. Desire works like that.
Everything desired is set at intervals.
You begin where you wake, then

proceed fractionally toward darkness.
What you lack: moth-eyes that absorb the light
instead of reflecting it, and, for hunting
with night vision, the tubular
far-sighted eyes of an owl.


After serving as Director of the Brockport Writers Forum & Videotape Library (SUNY) for many years, Stan Rubin moved to the Olympic Peninsula in 2003 as founding director of the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA at Pacific Lutheran University. He has published poems in such journals as AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The Laurel Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Florida Review, Poetry Northwest, Willow Springs, and others. He is the author of three previous full-length collections, Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Press, 2006), winner of the Barrow Street Book Prize; Five Colors (WordTech, 2004); and Midnight (State Street Press, 1995), as well as two chapbooks, On the Coast (2002) and Lost (1981). His work has been anthologized in The Poets Guide to the Birds (Anhinga Press, 2011) and Long Journey: Contemporary Northwest Poets (Oregon State University Press, 2006) and elsewhere. His poetry has received a Constance J. Saltonstall Foundation fellowship for Poetry. "Complexity" was published in There. Here., his 2013 collection published by Lost Horse Press.