Poetry: The Fig and Noon Outside The City Wall


The Fig

Inside the fig there is a serpent beguiled by a beguiling serpent, a breached levee, falling and fallen stars, a grappling hook, icebergs in mist, megaliths, a cache of Indian head nickels, the invisible caught in the act of adhering to light, a matchbook that warns close cover before striking…

But how to open the thing?

How to tear it asunder and, in doing so, not mistake the plunder for a petal-enfolded heart, for a much-kissed mouth?




Noon Outside The City Wall

Now and then, cicadas cease,
Or the rooster in the valley starts up,
As if to remind the listener time passes.

Beyond the gate,
If a footpath cut through,
It is healed over now.

You can excavate the scents
But still not find the source:
Sweetness like a trellis of jasmine,

Or a melon cut open,
Tempered by a bitter note:
Ozone after lightning. […]

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About the Visual Artist:
Nadia Hassler (featured homepage work, Red and Purple Texture) is an artist living in Madison, WI. She graduated from Depaul University in 2011 with a BA in Art, Media, and Design with a concentration in Fine Arts. Her work has been featured in several exhibitions, and will be included in “Impressions,” from June-July at Redampte in Madison, WI.


About the Author:
Eric Pankey is an award-winning author of ten collections of poetry, most recently Dismantling the Angel. Pankey’s writing has appeared in journals including Antioch Review, AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Seneca Review, and others.  His new book, Crow-Work is forthcoming in 2015. Pankey is Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.