The Heart is not earthbound

by Michael Virga
The Writer's Block
Second Place, March 2021
Judged by Nicole Greaves


1/ Brontë on the rocks

Strong will
winds rains moors crags —
definitive high rock
opera before the art went
hi-tech.

2/ king of pain

Heathcliff:
Novel study
on the keen scent of male
grief – the wuthering howls – reign of
mad dog

3/ kindred Spirits make guest appearances

Stoker’s
Count Dracula
inspired after Brontë’s
Heathcliff. Real super naturals
don’t die.

4/ the soul mates never out of print

Brontë –
beyond bound books:
In creating Heathcliff
Emily’s reincarnated
her self

5/ Art imitating everlasting Life

Heathcliff:
“Would you like to
step out into the air?”
Cathy: “Always.” Promises are
“Always.”

6/ The Heights beyond the wuthering

He wails:
“Cathy, My Love,
come back!” Instead, their Heart
forwards the 2 out of the house
for Home


What a playful and humorous poem. Each section is like a series of postcards that economize language yet burst with spontaneity. The subtitles themselves read like taglines for a relationship; the postcard-like script deepens the mystique and humor. If we read, characters stay with us, especially the exaggerated and Romantic who help frame our passage and “never die.” In a less print world, or a more “hi-tech” one, where images move past us, we are less apt to find the drama in the texture of the landscape or “reincarnate” ourselves through our craft, or that is how it can feel. Though these are fairly clipped and conversational in tone at times, like in a found poem, they bring us in, like fragments do, as in Sappho’s, still you in the lens with that sense of “always.” --Nicole Greaves

  • August 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      Time Portal At Fenchurch St. Station
      by Ieuan ap hywel
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Still Life With Woodpecker
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Hospice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block

  • July 2021 Winners

    • First Place

      The Three Fates
      by Laurie Byro
      The Waters

      Second Place

      If I Needed Someone
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      free spirit
      by Billy Howell-Sinnard
      The Writer's Block