The instructor is quoting Yeats. Behind him a painting of a
naked woman, her legs lifted so that most of her torso is hidden,
a tiny bit of dark curl peeking between her legs.
At the same time I am the good student. I am writing down the
teacher’s words and searching my mind for . . .
a train chimes
shards of glass
ching–the sly laugh
of a girl-woman watching.
This painter–some earnest
impressionist–has made a
Picasso out of
I drove behind other speeding cars
past dormant farmland
below a wan, but not unfriendly sky
the stand of trees calling
tule, briar, and twig
and dead animals
like old throw pillows damp
with the weight of the organic
slumped and broken
on the side of the road, fast
strokes of russet, ash, smoke of blue
Clare Means on the CD
singing about blood spilling from skin
wasps of mustard effervescent, searing
past my peripheral vision.
Cutting: How the Iowa Review fiction writer told of a man cutting
into a woman and made it beautiful and chilling, so that Kate wanted
to put her head between her knees from faintness and liked it.
And I could not say that
–though it was expertly done, effective.
[Me] Tied to what
is true. Wanting no more suffering,
unless it’s necessary,
unless a witness is needed.
But what kind of truth?
Infinite tiny flowers
constellations popping out
in the dandelion of morning light like a dream
or fog, their voids like rips
in peripheral vision
tearing into me, some
kind of safe desire and vibrant
longing in that yellow, in the coincidence of
a different kind of Picasso as if
the woman traveled back
into her girl self
so she could laugh
this time around.
LA Jones is a Guest Contributor for Panorama.