Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 17: 29 Jan. 2023
Poem: 97 words
By Joanne Durham

Worker Painting the Spire of the Eiffel Tower

This bird with a brush 
	for a beak 

on the slight slip of the balls of his feet 
	on a slant of steel 
braced by a beam 
	of sky 

When he goes home 
	to bean soup & brown bread 

how does he share the song 
below his day 		ribbons 
	of roof    lush 	to his gaze 

	rush of the glow of sun side-
	    ways to his face? 

Where does he store 
	the wings 
	    that lift him 
			into such 

—After a photograph by Marc Riboud, Zazou, the Eiffel Tower painter*



*Publisher’s Note:

French photo-journalist Marc Riboud (1923-2016) said of his iconic photograph: “While painting the Eiffel Tower, this fellow—nicknamed Zazou—was perfectly relaxed. But I felt dizzy and had to close my eyes every time he leaned over to dip his brush in the paint can” (source: Les amis de Marc Riboud).

This was Riboud’s first published photograph, and it appeared in Life Magazine in 1953 with the caption “Blitheful on the Eiffel.”

Seven additional photographs of the 1953 Eiffel Tower painters appear at: http://marcriboud.com/en/countries/eiffeltower/

Joanne Durham
Issue 17 (29 January 2023)

is the author of To Drink from a Wider Bowl, winner of the Sinclair Poetry Prize (Evening Street Press, 2022), and On Shifting Shoals (Kelsay Books, January 2023). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry South, NC Literary Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Dodging the Rain. and many other journals and anthologies. She is an Associate Editor at Evening Street Review. She lives on the North Carolina coast, with the ocean as her backyard and muse.

For more about her books, awards, background, and sample poems, please visit her website, Word Sense:

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.