diode v9n1



Touring L’Avenc: A Fortified House, not a Castle

The conversation turned
to different words for house in Catalan.
Masa differs from casa, much like mansion
from cottage.

My husband’s family never stayed
in one house too long.  They moved
from New York to Mexico to Belgium to France.

At 62, I came to Barcelona to see
Gaudi’s buildings; though last night I dreamed
of Arizona and Taliesin West.

Paul wanted stability. We lived
on Watchung Avenue for 20 years.

Because I have a house near the beach, people
ask about hurricane damage. I don’t want
to disappoint them and say there really wasn’t any. 

The architect’s house always needs repair.
Ours was no different. After a while I learned
to ignore the hole where the bathroom floor would be.

Still I was surprised when one of the boys
fell through to the floor below while playing.

One of the last photographs of us
is at Frank Lloyd Wright’s, Falling Water.

Wright loved the plasticity of concrete
but underestimated its weaknesses.

When I sold the Watchung Avenue house
I bought another four-square, a miniature replica
to diminish solitude.

While she lived, the dog
provided good company.

Barcelona expelled its Jews before 1492 I learned
on a tour of a synagogue in the Old City containing
remnants of a Roman era wall.

The strength of materials
did nothing.

The stone hearth in the kitchen
at L’Avenc probably dates from the 9th century.

Paul would have loved the pattern
of its arch—spina pesca, oscus piscanum, fish bones.

Icon Found at the 12th Century Monastery of Saint Pere de Casserres, near Vic

Jesus’ eyes are bloodshot.
He’s been weeping for days,
but his tears are lost
on me. That man knew
what he was getting into.
Not much talk around here
about Muslims or Jews.

Jesus and I both have high
cheek bones and light brown hair.
That’s where the similarity ends.
For years he’s been younger
than I. What is it about men
who never grow old?

The shape of these windows
comes from the Moors,
explanatory signs do not explain.
Renaissance monks drank
a liter of wine each day.

Jesus stayed out getting high
with his guys last night.
That might be the reason for thorny
garlands around his hair and neck.

He needs to drop the carney look.
He needs a girlfriend.
But Jesus just can’t stop his side
show tricks; water to wine,
loaves and fishes. He has not
given Lazarus a raise in years.  


Jessica G. de Koninck’s book of poems, Cutting Room, is forthcoming from Terrapin Books. She is also the author of one chapbook, Repairs (Finishing Line Press). A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been a finalist for the Dobler, the Raynes and the Ledge poetry prizes. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including the Valparaiso Literary Review, Poetrymagazine, LiteraryMama, and Apple Valley Review. Her BA is from Brandeis, and her MFA is from Stonecoast.  She is a grandma, a lapsed lawyer and an incurable community volunteer.