after paintings by Piet Mondrian
The pier and ocean. What has happened here?
What freedom is it that we’ve won
now the ocean overwhelms the pier?
The pier is gone, or almost gone,
the lines that it was made of more or less
disaggregated now till all we have
are plus and minus signs, a meaningless
eolian effect upon the waves.
Is this what we’ve become? No sun,
no sky, no water we’re familiar with,
only broken-up geometry
that bears no trace of what we’d been.
We left the pier behind, what it was worth
we didn’t know, and now we are at sea.
John Foy’s third book of poems, No One Leaves the World Unhurt, won the 2020 Donald Justice Poetry Prize and was published in 2021 by Autumn House Press. His second book, Night Vision, won the New Criterion Poetry Prize and was published by St. Augustine’s Press in 2016. It was also a finalist for the 2018 Poets’ Prize. His poems have been included in the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets, The Raintown Review Anthology, and Rabbit Ears, an anthology of poems about TV, and they have appeared widely in journals and online. He lives and works in New York.
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