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March 20, 2019 by The Citron Review

by James B. Nicola


The Center, if it holds, requires the Hole, as if the Spiral were pressed in a vinyl

disk. Set the heart of Nothing on the spindle and start the record round;

trace the line coiled both inward and outward to rekindle the ardor

of invention, dark as coal through which the diamond can take

a soul, that darker gem which, though it may advance

toward the center forever, is unable to reach it, for

the printed colored label that’s in the wayโ€”and

is the Way: the tune, logo, and written

record, like a rune. But while the

stylus circles in, we dance.


James B. Nicolaโ€™s full-length collections are Manhattan Plaza, Stage to Page, Wind in the Cave (2017), and Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018). His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award, while his poetry has garnered two Willow Review awards and a Dana Literary award.

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George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. "Sunflower." The New York Public Library Digital Collections.

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