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Louie Takes Flight

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Oil on panel, 2011
12" x 16"

F. Scott Hess

AS MUCH AS YOU CAN TAKE

Bruce Robinson

Who said you have to take it on the chin?

—Wisława Szymborska


There are only so many punches you can roll with:


only so many punches one can take


which by your calculations is a little

like love, apoplectic love, so


one might calculate, hefting the weight


of pure linen, a little metaphorical,

or cooling lava, so much less molten


than the way old advice falters into brick because


the way that counsel chips off a wall is just

the soft eradication of cities


amid the ethnic scrubbing of cities,


the compost trucks that should just get by,

the refuse trucks every Tuesday that


despite or because of alternate side


of the street parking may barely slide by

as though you’d found yourself cast aside by the


impasse, a vector slickly easing past you even though


there are just so many punches you can roll with.

I don’t know why you’d try.

Bruce Robinson is indebted to Jericho Brown and Poets House for a generative workshop that was a substantial factor in the development of “As Much As You Can Take”. Recent work by Bruce appears or is forthcoming in Seventh Quarry, Pangyrus, Résonance, The Menteur, Main Street Rag, Connecticut River Review, Maintenant, Evening Street Review, Rattle, Spoon River, and Off the Coast.

F. Scott Hess, born 1955 in Baltimore, has studied at the UW-Madison and the Vienna Academy of Fine Art.  He exhibited in Austria, Germany, and France before moving to Los Angeles for his first American solo exhibition in 1985, followed by hundreds of group and solo exhibitions.  His work is included in the collections of the LA County Museum of Art, Orange County Museum.