In the Shadow of This Branch by Robert Podgurski


According to the scholar and poet, Charles Stein: “Magic is pragmatic, or better performative, phenomenology.  But phenomenology is the magic of ontogeny.”  Robert Podgurski’s In the Shadow of This Branch is itself deeply invested in a thaumaturgy or wonder working of the magic of nascency.  The poems in this collection beg the question of what leads up to and what is happening as things labor to come into being.  As Michal Ajvas expressed in his novel, Empty Streets “I realized that in trying to express what a thing communicated, I was making a thing of the communication—an unusual and fantastic thing perhaps, but of what is not yet a thing, a matter from which things are formed.”  And yet, Podgurski is not so presumptuous as to assert he knows precisely what this process of emergence is, but that it warrants acknowledgment, further exploration, and to facilitate the possession of the senses in its sway.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 90
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: April 2024
  • ISBN 978-1-962847-04-9


In the “Matrimonial Garden” (to borrow one of his titles) that is Robert Podgurski’s new volume of poems, nature and spirit, passion and precision, are brought together in a visionary recital of the utmost intensity. Following in the footsteps of Olson, Duncan, and Gerrit Lansing, Podgurski is a projective enchanter whose “alchemically honed” verse, emerging from the alembic of language, transforms the prima materia of forest and mountain into lyric wisdom. From insouciant pun to moving elegy, In the Shadow of This Branch gives us “words inscribed / In a partially composed letter / Completed when the time comes / To send / One world to another.  —Norman Finklestein

Robert Podgurski’s poems deploy systems and structures akin to the sacred geometry of the temples and monuments he meticulously elucidates in his rare scholarly works. The micro-macro play in these poems show the center is everywhere. —Raymond Foye

If Robert Podgurski didn’t exist, I think I would have had to invent him — a practicing magician who also thinks about magic; whose careful scholarship and conceptual clarity are dimensions in an intensive, theurgic armamentarium; and a poet whose poems are hazards in a vital ontological probing. One enters them to the degree that one is correspondingly willing to hazard what might be found there: events in the living future of magic, a future not at all Not Yet, but more pertinently — From Now On. —Charles Stein


There is a Safe Tower

In falling off
The Bone
The flesh stood with
As a good barbecue
(they say in the south)
Should do
Adamic tongues
Of the first share
Speech for sources
With and without a firm foundation that gives
Illusion of stability
Cast from a shot tower
Hardened spheroid
A drop in the process
For making shells
A scream hits first
Some birds circle about
Other raptors fly off
Determined to make destination
Land Destiny.


Robert PodgurskiRobert Podgurski has been a student of writing and the influence of magic and the occult arts in poetry for over 40 years.  One result of this work is his book The Sacred Alignments and Dark Side of Sigils, North Atlantic Books 2019, that engages with the Enochian Angelic Magic of John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley in connection with Austin Osman Spare’s theory of sigilization.  The sequel, Aetheric Alignments: Enochian Sigil Magic and the Call to the Thirty Ayres is due in the Spring of 2025 by Inner Traditions  He is also the author of Wandering On Course, a collection of poetry, Spuyten Duyvil Press 2014, and most recently his long-poem Intersecting Visions Vision Intersects was published in a limited edition by Bullhead Books, 2019

Additional information

Weight 6.1 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in