Biography of John Sarvay
John Sarvay was born in Richmond, Virginia, and does not speak with a southern accent or eat fried okra. He has studied creative writing with Gary Sange at Virginia Commonwealth University, Leslie Shiel at The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, and with Susan Hankla at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He has written for The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Washington Post, WIRED Magazine and a host of local and regional publications. In the early 1990s, he was editor of Caffeine Magazine, Richmond's monthly magazine of irony, news and culture. His website is at www.floricane.com
John Sarvay Poems
Elegy For September 10
Before all of our totems fell, you drew A talisman on my forehead – I prayed For a late harvest and rose like a
You were in another room with me Many times – and years ago, it seems. Terror ran through our encounters like rain, Clouds preceding each interaction, like:
The Birth Of Loss
The silence came mostly between the tides – in the deep tranquil moments of gently lapping water and occasional leaping perch;
My eyes trace the script of Arabic as you grasp my arm and steer me through Cairo’s scrolling traffic. From above settles the call:
Your pale face, a droplet of rain water catches on your lip.
Techniques Of The Observer
At the dawn of enlightened idleness, men built the camera obscura: boxes of glass and wood that caught ethereal motion and recreated the world in miniature, casting it to see.
Flanked by the weary march of entangled apple trees the narrow road was nothing if not summer, and as elastic as creosote caressed by the sapping of the sun.
This must be how the runner felt: If I can just hold it together, tomorrow I’ll be in Thebes.
The Goddess Died At Herculaneum
Your face splits with torment like Janus and creates a mood evocative of some concoction of grape and spent ember, a taste encased with what was immediate:
My Grandfather's Art
There is a chorus, a calamity in the kitchen: clanging pans cry like church bells, a cathedral, like the empty paths along that darkening river.
I watched my watch as you watched the skyline on the eve
This Is Not A Country Song
As we drive this narrow rough of muted dirt, I might admit – this one time – that you somehow drew me back. Eyes half-closed, the door swung open
This morning the end of summer washed around my ankles. From the shifting shoreline
Flanked by the weary march of entangled apple trees
the narrow road was nothing if not summer,
and as elastic as creosote caressed
by the sapping of the sun.
That was when adults got lost in thought,
children in a fan-cast clutch of dust;
when the dog got lost beneath the porch,
and the water was flat as oil.