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Since 1996 Volume XXI

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman taught myth, literature, creative writing and founded a myth/folklore center at Indiana U. of Penna. She co-edited the prize-winning LIFE ON THE LINE and is the author of GOING TO BED WHOLE, TOTTERING PALACES, THE APPROXIMATE MESSAGE and IN THE FALL OF A SPARROW. She has collaborated on over 20 pieces with composers and other artists and was the recipient of grants from the NEH and Witter-Bynner Foundation. She was brought to England to be a featured writer on the BBC’s “Writer from Abroad” series, she has received the Distinguished Faculty Award in the Arts and has read her poems in Greece, Japan and Bratislava. Tebot Bach recently published her latest book of poems, I WANT TO THANK MY EYES.  

Credo: What I Loved (after Rilke)


We heard you when we stopped

before that magic blue and saw

above your paintings words you

stopped to write—some people

think an artist should paint

what he sees just as well as he can

Then you add the no, I don’t think so--

painting must be about some thing

about something and there is a girl

standing here at my side, the two of us

and others in a Columbus Ohio Museum

swaying before paintings—some look

like maps on the wall, all circles and dots

and after seeing your early work with faces

and dogs and trees turning into the dissolution

of people and landscapes –we decide

you press them on purpose into sheets

of blue and cadmium red and we know

for sure Mark Rothko, you were on

to something profound and large

and spelled out on your  sheet of color

we might call Zen or untitled #4


We decide you are not diminishing us

no matter what anyone says or wants

to say—nor are you decomposing the world

nor have you already left us—nor are you mad—

what you are doing is erasing sharp edges,

a man painting the thing—what I have to tell

is I love this light in a way I have never loved

anything like light or like a person I didn’t know

standing and breathing close to me before



© Copyright, Rosaly DeMaios Roffman.
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