PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue John McAuliffe poems and conversation Charles Dobzynski translated by Marilyn Hacker Maya C. Popa in conversation with Caroline Bird Richard Gwyn With Lowry in Cuernavaca Jane Draycott Four Poems
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This poem is taken from PN Review 198, Volume 37 Number 4, February - March 2011.

Four Poems John McAuliffe
A Game of Li Bo
'Historically games of displacement are replaced by games of strategy.'

                                                        An Illustrated History of Board Games in China


This is before the disappearance of the figure.
The artist deliberately buys a good mirror,
the work is finished if it appears unmarked by its maker.
In one image, of a game of Li Bo, the dice thrower
holds his opponent's future like a penny in his fist.

And it's too late for the other to ask, which fist.
Reward and punishment are a cosmic force:
shadows fall everywhere from the cold skies,
whole inches of canvas betray no common light source,
each moment a last thought saying its goodbyes.



Of All Places

... limestone later then gneiss and a little quartz,
corbelling later again; the antler-pin points
towards an open central place and an arable,
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image