1. Home
  2. Poems & Poets
  3. Browse Poems
  4. Luminous Great Mass by Peter O’Leary
Luminous Great Mass

Related Poem Content Details

Holy Trinity Airship
billows a

cave Louis Sullivan, Arch-
itect, lord master,
conceived of
in the hollow of power.

He swells.
I am his balloonist
balancing an azimuth

as earth-apse I
orbit, robed in
hot gas & leather

fastened by a yolk-stalk
of gravity to gold-
end onions nozzling heavens

whose suns are stomachs
with churches in their navels.

Each we are priests
as aeronauts at the vestibules,
& enter the cavity:

space, self, organ; celest-

ial nave

stars sailors name saints
and adore—

their egress is bitter
weeping, their praise pure
Russian form:

a cathedral,
my inner orrery.

Peter O’Leary, “Luminous Great Mass” from Watchfulness. Spuyten Duyvil, 2001.
Source: Watchfulness (Spuyten Duyvil, 2001)
Discover this poem's context and related poetry, articles, and media.
Luminous Great Mass

Related Poem Content Details

  • Peter O’Leary was born in 1968 in Detroit, Michigan, and earned a PhD from the University of Chicago Divinity School. His recent books of poetry include The Phosphorescence of Thought (2012), Luminous Epinoia (2010), Depth Theology (2006), and Watchfulness (2001). He is the author of the critical study Gnostic Contagion: Robert Duncan & the Poetry of Illness (2002). As Ronald Johnson’s literary executor, he has edited several collections of Johnson's work, including The Shrubberies (2001) and Radi Os (2005). He lives in Berwyn, Illinois and teaches at the School of the Art Institute and for the Committee on Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.

  • Poems By Peter O’Leary

  • Poem Categorization

    If you disagree with this poem's categorization make a suggestion.

Other Information