Academic journal article Chicago Review

Leaving Thirtieth Street Station, Philadelphia

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Leaving Thirtieth Street Station, Philadelphia

Article excerpt

like a fairy tale, and undeserving as in a fairy tale, one lived deep within it -- lived?

That an American bald eagle driven by its parents from its nesting territory rode west winds over the Atlantic, to wind up in Castleisland thin, tired, revived by wildlife rangers on venison and pigeons -- or that an Irish fisherman lost off British trawler Pickering lingered for his same hour so he could jam steering and radar, make lights dance in cabins cold as betrayal, as abandonment to the Church of England, again conquerors, the captain averring after the exorcism: "It is a warm and friendly boat and we are having very successful catches" --

proves that there are crossings harder to manage than over unquiet graves. Charred edges of Kiefer's canvas weave into history his Valhalla, hail of heroes. From ten sconces, flames, not obedient tapers whose straight shafts answer gutting drafts but bonfires soot frame walls. Charcoal outlines floor and ceiling beams as someone runs toward one dark door, his substance contradicted by wood grain which tangles his feet in knots and whorls. …

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