The houses look at one another,
a language of windows.
The violin stands above the collar …
sleigh bells in a blue sky.
How calm the torso of a woman
like a naked statue.
Reclining in an alcove
with curtains, the window gives
a view of earth … yellow fields.
She has a blue leg and a green arm,
red arm, and leg painted saffron.
The orange sphere floating in space
in front of the blue canyon
has a face like a mask
with fixed brown eyes.
Directly underneath, on the parapet,
stands a shirt with a tie
in a dark, formal suit.
He has left his shaving brush
on top of the cabinet with doors of glass
that is merging with a cloud.
A great stag came out of the woods,
Broad-antlered, approaching slowly on the moonlit field,
And looked about him like a king and re-entered the dark.
The seismic shifts in American culture since 1960 have made footing precarious indeed for those broad-antlered poets who wrote in a hieratic and philosophic diction. Eschewing the more vernacular excursions of the Beats or the confessional poets of the 1970s, Plutzik published three full collections of poems, the last, Horatio, an eighty-nine-page dramatic poem in which Hamlet’s friend grapples with the charge to “report me and my cause aright.”