Arte Povera

Arte Povera

Luciano Fabro assembles green flies
and beetles iridescent as death
on armatures of brass.
He calls them sculptures
though they often resemble
shields and helmets
and other objects
useful to primitive pacific tribes
or knights escaped
from medieval armories
and museums of unnatural history.
His scarabs glow with rarified light
and abide in memory:
hidden wings and hardened heads,
smooth coats of black shellac
and pins sequestered from
my inadvertent touch.
At night, they recall themselves to me
unbidden, without conscious desire.


Michael Salcman is a poet, physician and art historian, was born in Pilsen Czechoslovakia. He is a child of the Holocaust and a polio survivor. Salcman grew up on East 7th Street in Brooklyn between Foster Avenue and Avenue H. He is the author of 200 scientific articles and six medical books. He served as chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and president of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. He lectures widely about art and the brain. Among many other journals poems appear in Arts & Letters, The Cafe ReviewHarvard Review, Hopkins Review, The Hudson Review, New Letters, Notre Dame Review, Ontario Review, Panygyrus and Solstice. Featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and All Things Considered, his work has received six nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Salcman is the editor of Poetry in Medicine, a popular anthology of classic and contemporary poems on doctors, patients, illness & healing, used in courses on Narrative Medicine (Persea Books, 2015). His collections include The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises, 2007), nominated for The Poets’ Prize, The Enemy of Good is Better (Orchises, 2011) and A Prague Spring, Before & After (2016), winner of the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press. His latest collection, Shades & Graces (Spuyten Duyvil, 2020) is the inaugural winner of the Daniel Hoffman Legacy Book Prize. He is Special Lecturer in the Osher Institute at Towson University.

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