Ron Smith

Remedios Varo’s Locomotion Capilar (1959)
May 26, 2018 Smith Ron

Remedios Varo’s Locomotion Capilar (1959)


Riding the bicycles of their beards,

wearing wreaths of cloud, they come,

they go, one roping the startled woman

with his rufous anaconda whiskers.

Only she looks at you, her fingers

splayed in surprise,

lifted off the cobbles and balanced by

the birds in the lower right


who dive and swoop below the scholars’

(I say scholars) pointed shoes,

in the ochre alley, the angled confinement

of the architecture, a triangle

of dark sky trapped by walls

and an arch. Starless, moonless.

A maze, but the men

are not amazed, their eyes serene,

contemplative, looking out of the frame, inward


at nothing, while the fellow in the niche

hoists the only woman, she whose eyes

register fatigue and surprise, she

who’s being lifted

out of the way so the scholars

can turn and turn again unhindered, un-

distracted in the warm angles

of sterility, angles and arcs, and the birds, too,

live in the angles, even

the birds live in the angles.

Ron Smith’s book That Beauty in the Trees was published in 2023 by Louisiana State University Press. His The Humility of the Brutes, Its Ghostly Workshop, and Moon Road were also published by LSU. Smith’s poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The Nation, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Five Points, and Arts of War & Peace (Université Paris Diderot). He is currently Consultant in Poetry and Prose at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia, and Poetry Editor for Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature. In recent years he has partnered with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to present poems associated with Man Ray’s Paris years and its “The Horse in Ancient Greek Art” exhibit. From 2014 to 2016 Smith was the Poet Laureate of Virginia.