Baruch November’s recent full-length book of poems is entitled Bar Mitzvah Dreams. His earlier collection of poems entitled Dry Nectars of Plenty co-won BigCityLit’s chapbook contest. His poems and short fiction have been featured in Paterson Literary Review, Lumina, New Myths, The Forward, and Jewish Journal.
“This poem has been many years in the making in order to find the power
of Venice. I started it in graduate school, 20 years ago, when I took
an elective in art history and came across this picture. I have been
saving it for something special, and I have edited it here and there.
In fact, I took the liberty to add stars that Whistler does not seem
to have in his painting. Thus, I’d have to say, despite the title, it
is a poem not only about Whistler’s Venice but mine, too.”
-After Nocturne in Blue and Silver: The Lagoon, Venice, 1879
City of water
and more water,
steeped with demise.
The gondolier’s garden
of Eden, where at night
they never fall
but stretch out
like water bugs
on the lagoons.
Deep indigo night
covers with stars
to save them
from getting lost
to the water’s