on the page magazine

issue no. 6, winter 2001–2002


Paul Caponigro

by Leo Vanderpot

Paul lives between black and white.
He's not the boy he was
when life was edges,
parallel lines with no depth

as we walked to mechanical drawing
away from the high-school's shadows
to a gray wooden building,
each day a fight

to not show not shine
not look beyond the doors
into the infinite spaces
defined by work.

Courage can be learned
it seems, for now this man
insists upon making
his fear visible, looks

at the walls pushing back the fields
and clouds of inevitability to show
the rewards of the eye
the joyous integrity of failure.

Leo Vanderpot lives in Gallatin, New York, where he writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His work has appeared in the Palo Alto Review, Lynx Eye, The American Gardener, Berkshires Week, and Snowbound. Mr. Vanderpot attended high school with Paul Caponigro, whose photographs have been published in Aperture and exhibited at George Eastman House, the Siembab Gallery, the Andrew Smith Gallery, and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mr. Caponigro did not show up at the Revere (Massachusetts) High School class of 1950 reunion.

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