Sky Open Again
by Gian Lombardo

ISBN: 0-940475-92-8
Dolphin-Moon Press (Baltimore, MD), 1997
80 pp., softbound, 5.5" x 8.5"
cover photo by Ken Kipen

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Knowing that the vantage point influences the observer’s perspective, Lombardo examines the incongruities, paradoxes and imperfections of daily life. Simple scenes, like a train stopping at a station or hitchhiking or registering at a hotel, are tapped for the mysteries and magic inherent in them. In this collection of prose poems, Lombardo takes the reader — from the deserts of the Southwest to the familiar stone walls, forests and coastal islands of New England — on a journey dedicated to discovering the richness of the imagination.

“Lombardo shakes up the world of familiar language and presents us with a skewed version. Through his relentless focus on and experimentation with the physical, emotional, and linguistic landscapes, he has built an important and engaging world in Sky Open Again.”
— Brian Henry, The Prose Poem: An International Journal

“While these poems work together and collectively resonate to form a retroactive narrative, they also always force the reader to shift back from that narrative into an awareness of the language that composes it — that is, back and forth between the burnt world of the desert and the lush world of language. The result is an intense eddy of language, a substantially lyrical thing.”
Priscilla Sneff, Ploughshares

From Sky Open Again...

Light Singing Before the Earth

Any moment the sky may darken and there may be great noise, any moment like this moment, any moment when the narrow slit of sky above becomes black and grey, any moment like this moment when the two rivers cut into the gorge rise up to the sky in a great rush, shouting as they move upwards in bits and pieces — Wouldn’t that be something to write home about? Wouldn’t that be a revolution to remember? — all at once among the light clearing its throat in clips and flashes, and then any moment in the uproar, in the wet, out of the dark, all at once the sky open again, light singing before the earth, through rivers rising up, through the mist ascending from sheer stone walls to a cloud no longer above the vertical horizon.

I Don’t Know

Everyone knows someone. It’s not one of those secrets of life. It’s one of those things put baldly on the table. You’d like to grab it, sprinkle a pinch of salt for seasoning. Its pull is unmistakable.
I’m not unusually curious about the secrets of life. If
you know one, it’s not a secret unless you keep it from somebody else.
Oh, let it be our little secret, you say.
Who am I to declare otherwise? It’s not as if I had
even the faintest recollection of the name of the cold-blooded murderer down the street, the one who let the whole family in on the secret of the after-life.


There are lush worlds and there are burnt worlds. There are hills of ash and cinder and there are hills that swim with green.
They say, Life resides in the balances. . .
What was once, is now. . .
If you wake in the middle of the night and rise to start
the day, they might say you are too early for the day.
But when it is dark you have the grace of not seeing
what world you step into.

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