Live Encounters Poetry & Writing July 2021.
Richard W. Halperin has Irish/U.S. dual nationality and lives in Paris. His most recent collection for Salmon Poetry, Cliffs of Moher, is Catch Me While You Have the Light, 2018. People in a Diary is listed for 2022. His most recent shorter collection for Lapwing, Belfast, is Summer Night, 1948, 2021. His poem ‘Snow Falling, Lady Murasaki Watching’ is on permanent display at Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo. Readings scheduled in Ireland for 2020 have been deferred to late 2021 or to 2022.
Wall of Glass
Marcel Marceau’s Bip walks into
A wall of glass, invisible. He cannot
See it, he cannot move it, he falls on
His hands and knees trying to lift it,
He feels around for a door in it,
He runs his hands all around it.
Everyone can see him doing this.
There he is.
If one cannot relate to this,
There is no point in reading poetry.
The Girl in the Red Cape 2
The girl in the red cape is still where she was.
On the isle of Miyajima, on the planks
Of the first Noh theatre. The theatre
Has no walls. The small deer are still there,
Still suspicious. The sea is spectacular,
The sky is spectacular, wall-less, which is
What good theatre is. Hiroshima is nearby.
I am somewhere taking a picture. This is
That picture. Pure theatre is gesture.
The clouds know this. In Noh the gestures
Never change. Master actors are aware
That it is impossible to make the same exact
Gesture twice. The infinitesimal difference
Is a specialty of eternity, and of the girl
In the red cape. I await a gesture from her.
Awaiting does no harm. Some things do
Do harm. In a marriage. In a friendship.
Usually the harm is not the end of the world.
Sometimes it is.
The Red Room 2
I look at a small painting given me
By the artist. I, not she, call it
‘The Red Room.’ An interior, almost
Entirely consisting of a window
Set deep into white adobe. The sunlight
Outside is so bright that it, entering,
Turns the panes to milk, the adobe to
A white glow. The painting nearly cuts off there.
Before it does, the artist indicates
By a thick stroke of deep red that a wall
Of the room is deep red. Womb red.
Because of the milky panes, I cannot
Make out the garden. The light outside
Is too brilliant. Albuquerque light.
© Richard W Halperin