A poem by David St. John

Somehow this ekphrastic poem seems like a wintery one. Perhaps the huddled figures give that impression. And though I don’t know the painting it refers to, it stands alone as a poem. I love the ending especially.

The Park

A figure in a kimono or a robe so lush it too seems foliate

Stands apart from two other figures similarly dressed

But (the two) huddled closely together & moving off the sheer
Right edge of the canvas

& the solitary figure remains oddly hesitant & indistinct

& pensive although
Perhaps she is simply realizing that she does not wish to go

Where all of the others wish to go

David St. John

from The Last Troubadour: New and Selected Poems (Ecco/HarperCollins 2017 © David St. John)

Barbara Guest

I haven’t read much of Barbara Guest, two many books stacked up waiting, but this snippet makes me want to see more. I love this little poem, so vivid and mysterious.

The View from Kandinsky’s Window

The park shows little concern with Kandinsky’s history
these particular buildings are brief about his early life
reflections of him seen from the window
are busy with preparations for exile
the relevance of the geranium color.

Barbara Guest

Lucia Perillo

It’s always a shock to discover a poet you like has died–and because I always ask permission before posting poems here, I discovered that Lucia Perillo died six years ago. Luckily, we still have her poems. I think I saw this one in Poetry Daily:

To the Field of Scotch Broom That Will Be Buried by the New Wing of the Mall

Half costume jewel, half parasite, you stood
swaying to the music of cash registers in the distance
while a helicopter chewed the linings
of the clouds above the clear-cuts.
And I forgave the pollen count
while cabbage moths teased up my hair
before your flowers fell apart when they
turned into seeds. How resigned you were
to your oblivion, unlistening to the cumuli
as they swept past. And soon those gusts
will mill you, when the backhoe comes
to dredge your roots, but that is not
what most impends, as the chopper descends
to the hospital roof so that somebody’s heart
can be massaged back into its old habits.

Mine went a little haywire
at the crest of the road, on whose other side
you lay in blossom.
As if your purpose were to defibrillate me
with a thousand electrodes,
one volt each.

Lucia Perillo