Friday, April 16, 2010

Notes on Succulence

It struck me this morning in the buttery cut
roses, exo-petals tinged with the brink
of wilting, scent a carnage tucked

in weakening, mittened fists:
nothing ever gleamed like this.

At noon I felt it in the apple’s soft spot,
smelled it in a slosh of vinegar.

After work I saw it in the soap froth
caressing a row of raw necks at the barber shop.

It brims in the props of Flemish still lives.

Not to be confused with opulence
or corpulence. Not to be hoarded
in a purse lacking vinyl lining.

It stews the first drop of decay
whose fissures splay like frost,
unseen beneath the headiness,

under the vulgar, the creeping rot
for which the war was fought.


I ran across the photos of Justine Reyes the other day. The photograph above is from her Vanitas series, which seemed to fit well with my poem "Notes on Succulence." Thanks to Justine for letting me use this shot, called "Still Life with Fish and Orange Slices." There are some stunning photos in this series, and she has other work up, too, at her site.


Kathleen said...

You and Justine are both succulent! (I once called a character based on my mother "succulent" and survived.)

Kass said...

Great poem! I love the way your mind comes round about to a subject. And the picture sets it off nicely.

SarahJane said...

Thanks. I changed the photo from this morning as the photographer kindly sent me a jpeg of a photo I preferred for the poem. This one is terrific, although the drawer full of leaves was pretty great, too. I really enjoyed this and her other series.

ArtSparker said...

Lovely jagged redolent efflorescence

ron hardy said...

I like this poem Sarah. And I like the photograph. I think your poems would lend themselves well to collaboration with a photographer. Jorie Graham and Jeannette Montgomery Barron did a book together several years ago. the composition and words here remind me of that book.

SarahJane said...

Thanks, Ron, you're nice.
I like poetry/art pairings, too. I like it when publications do that for you. The old zine Lily used to do it, and DMQ Review does it now, albeit somewhat randomly.

lucychili said...

i like the way you
capture the moment
on the edge of decay

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