John C. Mannone


                After Scintillating Blue, oil on canvas
                By Hans Hofmann, 1956

Stars glow without sparkle through veil of air
yet scintillate with scrutiny in blue turbulence
and the irony of chaos — the collapsed beams
that terrors left. Fractured. Kaleidoscopic
collage: pieces of life mix with purple panes,
surreal stibnite stubs and bismuth girders as if
microcosms of petrology: crystals polarized
by light showing fauves of force, counterforce
in isometric equilibrium. Chemistry in cubism:
dried blood on the streets, cumulonimbus clouds
in the corner. But focus on the sun, on silhouette
specks of carbon standing at the temple gate, gold
mosaics opening the hearth to melted hearts
poured as lead for glass-stained windows: prisms
storing rainbows. Is that the covenant of hope
that draws us out of desensitized reality amidst
the shatter? The crumbled slabs step into its gray
ash scintillating from once blue marble stars.

John C. Mannone has work appearing/forthcoming in North Dakota Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal, Artemis Journal, Poetry South, Blue Fifth Review, Pedestal, Pirene's Fountain, Baltimore Review and others. He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian literature (2017) and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex, and other journals. He’s a retired professor of physics living between Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN,
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