by Louis Daniel Brodsky
Portrait in Storm Time
Each window of my stalled car
Is a Victorian photographer’s backdrop
Surrounding me with improbable clouds.
Inside his studio, I’ve watched an invisible hand
Draw down the storm around me
On a series of taut-sprung rollers
Attached, above my roof, to the universe,
And wondered who might busy himself
Moving such heavy apparatus,
This foul day, and for what effect,
Considering I never even requested a sitting.
Phosphorescent shards of lightning —
Flash bars igniting unpredictably —
Scar the artificial canvas scapes,
Leaving powder-burn traces on my mind.
As if connected to my seat by a brace,
I pose, stiff-necked and apprehensive,
Hoping to gain a permanent appreciation
Of my relationship to nature. But nothing takes.
The sun can’t focus me on its dry plate,
For rain smearing the inverted image of my fear.
I drive on without a record of my passing.
Describing himself as midway through his "poet’s journey," Brodsky reaches deep into his heritage, in this volume of forty-seven chronologically arranged poems, aligning himself "with tillers of the tribe of Abraham" as he makes his way, alone, "toward the frontiers of verse," still knowing that "the Holy Land is just out of sight."