h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s

 

 

.........
RUSTY MORRISON



.............
HEALTH




My body had a sheen once, a long gleam of forestalled
shatter
called moisture. Yesterday is a word I say to lubricate.
Today corrodes,
while the scale I made of pine needles turning brown
scarcely trembles.
I ruined the sky’s pale blue hypnosis
with diagnosis. 
Static, like a radio’s, a whole life might be lost
inside a cough.  
There should be some compensatory thickening of dignity
in the afterworld
for useless effort, dried leaves and skin I tried
to water. I add
consonants to forestall false rhymes with wellness. With the aid
of stress accents
apply diversion. For difference, soft dirt and hard stones mix
in hand-dug mounds,
where nothing stays buried for long, for me,
because I like time,
how it defines the distance between the pretty
paper costume
I called purpose and this scavenge. 





.............
RECOVERY



This morning, the illness is breached, the nub
of what will become a leafed-stem is emergent from the thick, dumb,
seemingly dead branch, again, wellness
assaults,
raising dust, ruckus of release, the long weeks of inelastic imparticular
begin to rip—such teething sequences
will only be done with me
at death—which probably will be the best of them—though for now
the best has been to watch the sky
teethed of blue when a shock of crows rise in unison to puncture it
and draw the eye past believing sky
is color
in the image from a postcard I’ve kept
right past the act losing of it during one of my many moves.





.............
RENDERING



My sketch fails.
Notably the eyes.
More important, the lips. Where Demeter and Kore reunite, my mouth
is the work.
My chewable pill
stuck in its plastic sleeve breaks in too many pieces.
I lean down
and lick up
only the visible specs. In the invisible, a monastery. The celestial,
infinite in its manner of giving way,
is unwinding
through a back courtyard gate that an initiate is just now opening, though
she makes no space for me in the contours
of her footsteps.





...........
RESPONSE


   

The nude sexless figure was positioned in the painting 486 years ago
to meet my glance.   

To make the child immortal, Demeter sets the infant on fire each night,
stripping from it all mortal flesh.    

The last word of a myth mustn’t look back with either guilt or innocence.

“Each night,” has neither depth nor surface, but might be
observed as a body of water.

In Niagara, Marilyn Monroe cast as Rose Loomis played a body of water
falling.

Larger-than-life is what we call a movie screen, relentless seduction
stripped of mortal flesh.

It doesn’t matter that I’m not the only one the eyes in the painting have been
watching.  

I keep any paradox in mind long enough to see how my interpretation of its biases
define me.   

Come to the fire wet.    

At film’s end, Monroe’s corpse belongs to the camera, her back arched, her body
striped by shadows crossing the floor of the Niagara Tower.  

“In the painting, the figure of Kore was interwoven with the pupil of an eye.”
(Stobaeus)  

Come to the shadows, don’t expect to see where they go.

 

 

 

  

BIO: Rusty Morrison is the author of five books, including Beyond the Chainlink (Ahsahta), After Urgency (Tupelo’s Dorset Prize), the true keeps calm biding its story (Ahsahta) which won The Sawtooth Prize, Academy of American Poet’s Laughlin Award, Northern California Book Award, DiCastagnola Award. Recent poems have appeared or will appear in A Public Space, Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, PEN Poetry Series, Talisman, The Volta, VOLT. She’s Omnidawn’s co-publisher, www.omnidawn.com. Her website: www.rustymorrison.com.

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