Brian Swann



The bluebird's cold mistimed egg
fetched up from the one-legged
box after the pair had left for
points south & unknown (never,
as it turned out, to return) I
renested in the half-geode by
the windowsill where it gleamed
&, months becoming years, seemed
about to last forever, grow more
consistent with itself, holding its pure


I read that in this famous person’ s poems “she searches
for signs of what lies beneath and beyond the self.”
Which seemed to me pointless, as if you wouldn’ t know

whether to paint with egg tempera or eat it. At eighteen,
I came across Tolstoy’ s “What is Art?” where he said
an artist is different from other people because instead

of eating an apple he paints it. Even then I thought why
can’ t he paint it and then eat it, the way at eight, the war
just over, I stood shoeless in line in the snowy playground