Lipchitz Lyric

Paul Siegell

            —for Varian Fry


Jacques rocks: bronze



on The Death of Pierrot


poetic volumetrics


shaped into creation

by the mighty River



a cubist’s caress, a

movement progressed:


in 1945 he etched the ef-

fervescent Nude and



bebop Jacques and tonic,



if you swing your

Bull and Condor over


I’ll jump on it—


“The clay is scarred,

undercut and torn

like the bodies

of the fighters”


gripping tyranny



tumultuous, molten,

sculpt to reassure


eye bright

o bright other life Lipchitz


with a witness


sculpt the sensual


a home for poems


a Mother and Child


a letter for a bone—


for the letters embodied

to express the statue that

you were born to form: I


look to a page of poetry,


a pedestal for the textual,


and, spellbound,

perceive the statuesque—


the body “modeled,

manipulated and shaped”


body foundry


body burning body down

in 1952 his studio

standing there, shocked

to bedrock, jewel-eyed

and mindful—


then stab it all in the sculpt

with a chisel:


you make me want to


I know you’re not

supposed to


but I take pleasure in





while the power’s still on:


true-blue blue-streak

serpent breath of



the universal spiritual

the sacrificial visual—


now that

someone should sculpt


sculpt that



into the bronze—


for that’s how I feel

when struck by a bolt:


the body/language



of a Lipchitz:




and jumping up love.