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Route 7 Review

Issue #  2015




Late one August eve – past eleven –

a choir of angels subsumed the air.

“’Tis the bells of Notre Dame on the anniversary

of the liberation of Paris from the Nazis.”

On and on the oratorio of manumission,

so pure and sweet I was privy

to an estate beyond the mondial,

so numinous and beautiful that no one moved

- though perhaps by custom, to me by inability –

each in his own private chamber

at this sacral evocation of thought and remembrance.

Minute after minute, one in wonder at the drawing out

from the past, the surge inside many

that the ringing made surface and assuaged.

Many in darkened rooms must recall

at the behest of this celestial harmony their desecration –

only a heavenly music would dare resurrect

such atrocities without path for expiation.




Enfant terrible, on his shoulders Atlas bearing this big marble –

ours an uninhabited planet, a bucket with neither liquid nor well, a lost tribe,

the homeless who through the cold stagger from minute to minute until in an alley, under a

          mattress, the last ember expires.


Overcoat, beret, Le Monde, Gauloises, coffee – in an outdoor café he,

the only to refuse the Nobel in Literature.  I walked by, glanced, kept going.

Jean-Paul, you who I have studied assiduously, were as many – alas, as I ! – shredded by the





The bride, the Mona Lisa, surrounded,

but at another Da Vinci, Saint Anne, Time itself paused:

the serenity of her features abnegated all will –

an ethereal realm, larger than the Mona Lisa,

a band of wholly white mountains rising from verdant plain,

lattice of background tree finer than elsewhere foreground branch.


Self emptied in this presence of the Almighty:

Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velasquez –

disoriented, I sat, lost in the Garden.




Walking on sidewalk – eight-ten paces in front a gent towards café turned; as the door

          consumed, over his shoulder he, his face the etch of the haunted.

Previously had I beheld such: the eyes of Apollinaire in photo, his temples swathed in bandage

          from shrapnel –

while recovering would he coin “surreal”, apropos the playing fields of World Conflagration

          One; within two years he is sod.

Mind drifted to Baudelaire who minted “modernity”, the Industrial Age having transmuted his

          nibbling doe and fawn into the automaton of the assembly line.

Need Author be haunted?  Surely aesthetics does not require said ritualarium, say Hugo and

          Proust, Mallarme and Valery, emerging from hallowed tides.    

Joel Netsky was born in Philadelphia in 1946, and has always loved literature and writing. Some of his favorite poets are: Keats, Deutero-Isaiah, Wilfred Owen, the Beats.  After college he traveled a bit throughout the world, spending time in Paris over the course of two years.  In 2007 a book of his poetry, “The Unequivocality of a Rose” was published by Poetic Matrix Press of Madera, CA.  From 2008 to 2010 he owned and operated a used bookstore.



Paris Sketches, circa 1971

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