From the Grasshopper Embedded in Van Gogh's Olive Trees
under magnification [ ] there was an insect in the lower
foreground of the landscape of Olive Trees that was not
visible to the naked eye. (New York Times, Art & Design, Nov. 8, 2017)
I am cider-pressed on the palette, as scattered in space
as you are in time — which lends me this wry lens,
my oily innards quite blown out, as you will understand
having a body built only for summer, footprints flush
with husked grain. I am a leak in the diaspora of days
without the stomach for naming the scythe-tip
that transfixes you, being only chiton and chafe—
where the brushstroke wicks back
across the dropped stitch of summer's entropy.
I'm the grease stain left of dismemberment
where harm is cumulus until I'm of not in —,
mouth parts made to savor not to feed.
Riven sounds like river here where umbels
of wild artichokes measure the madness
of being everywhere at once against
the nowhere of meander. Your eye can still finger
limbs that nimbus sun, spiracles of breathing space
between the surfaces, just a screen
door sift and cache before the blast furnace
of nexts, and next-to-lasts and lasts. Brush fires
everywhere in the lavender,
but here — where I am optic fiber —
light pulses on the abacus of poppy stems
I am made only to enumerate, not to store.
Judson Evans is Director of Liberal Arts and teaches courses on utopian societies, ancient Greek literature, and Japanese poetry at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He has been involved in a wide range of collaborative experiments with composers, choreographers, and other poets. He was a member of “Off the Park Press Writers' Collective," N.Y.C., and has poems in the three anthologies the press published in response to contemporary painters. In 2014 he was chosen as an “Emerging Poet" by John Yau for The Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared most recently in Volt, 1913: a journal of forms, Cutbank, and Laurel Review.