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In his seventh collection Orbit, award-winning poet Arthur Vogelsang connects the intimate with what is farthest from us, mixing what we can imagine with what is daily and near. Orbit insists on connecting the three eras of human experience: Then, Now, and When, at every turn. It's a dialogue between daily life and transcendent vision, insisting on the reality of each.

“There’s only one Arthur Vogelsang. A seriously playful absurdist, he deflates false authority while underscoring the barbarism of history. In his rangy diction, he underscores our frailties and our incomprehensible and finite existence. In Orbit Vogelsang brings us closer to the tragic comedy of human experience.” —Ira Sadoff


Give me a small thin city
In a circle like a concrete rubber band
Around a huge forest.
The undergrowth heavy, so heavy, please,
To keep normal people from entering
The huge forest. Navy Seals may enter and leave
More or less successfully. I want it like that.
The city would be like New York
Stretched thinly around the gigantic forest,
One block wide of city surrounding it
Like a concrete rubber band.
There’s just enough city now to do it.

On the great circumference circle of the city
Transport is by bullet train and that’s great.
Also nobody ever gets lost because
There are only two directions, clockwise and counterclockwise.

If you go any way out beyond the one-block-thick city circle
There’s a larger forest than the city’s forest. Seals never go in it.
Planes fly over it a certain distance
(La Guardia and JFK are part of the concrete rubber band)
Then turn around, having used half their fuel.
The trees are so near each other that a human body
Cannot squeeze through.
Some stupid city people call the surrounding forest “Everything.”
I have wished for this city
And these two forests, one an endless donut
The other a round green ball inside the city but unfortunately
They already exist and I may not create any more.