PoetryIssue 11 | January 2011

Cologne

by Rick Mullin

One springtime morning in Cologne,
on business, traveling alone
and walking at an early hour,
I came on Konrad Adenauer.
Copper-cast to human scale,
a statue on a flower trail
that ringed the chapel of a church,
he stood beneath a newgreen birch,
a solid man. He looked at me,
or over me—at Germany
he cast a solemn gaze. Or grim.
For no one seemed to notice him
  save one of little consequence,
  a stranger in the present tense

like S.T. Coleridge in the past
who walked through rolling shadows cast
beneath the vampire-pocked cathedral,
before this modern tetrahedral
church engaged the student throngs.
Amidst the gargoyles and the gongs
that plague this stinking, stony city,
Coleridge penned a light verse ditty
dark enough to be recited
in a netherworld benighted,
or in a perfumed ivory tower,
or to Konrad Adenauer
  on the dark paths of the Rhine
  where foul air strokes the Sonnenschein.

About the author

Rick Mullin has travelled throughout Europe and the US as a business journalist covering the pharmaceutical and chemical industries for the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News. He has made the occasional foray on his own as well. His forthcoming collection, Stignatz and the User of Vicenza, will be published by Dos Madres Press, which has also published his collections Coelacanth and Sonnets from the Voyage of the Beagle, as well as his long poem, Soutine, on the life of the painter Chaim Soutine.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok