Jeffrey Schultz – X. Poem of Fruits to Come

Jeffrey Schultz

X. Poem of Fruits to Come

 

Liberation is not at hand.
In my parents’ yard,
A modest three-quarters of an acre,
Stands a single late Elberta peach tree.
In my childhood and youth,
Before all the remaining
Valley acreage was torn out,
The fruit could be found at roadside stands.
I remember one Elberta in particular:
My friend Marshall who lives now
In Missouri and god knows
What’s come of him there brought one
To me at my work. We stood
In the valley’s August heat
Next to the dumpster
At the back of the brake shop’s lot.
I pulled off my grease- and gas-
Soaked gloves and we ate,
The sweet nectar dripping
Down our chins and arms
In such a way that I am embarrassed, now,
To describe it for what it was.
I am embarrassed, now,
To describe much anything at all,
And for the life of me can’t figure
Why other people seem not to be.
Shame follows from the fruit.
I see this now, though it means other
Than what I would have guessed.
There will never be another one.
My parents’ crop this summer
Was small and still pretty good.
At the end of the Permian,
Almost all plant life gave way
To extinction. What thrived
Were the fungi, whose subterranean
Brain burrows toward the scent
Of death and decay and, sending up
Its stalk and cap, opens the veil
Of itself to the flat, lifeless light and feasts.

 

Jeffrey Schultz’s artist statement:

Title of series: Fifteen Variations on Themes from Levis.
In a series of fifteen brief variations, Schultz will meditate on a number of themes–some of them poorly recalled from memory, some of them badly obscured or poorly understood–from Levis’s work.

Marisol Baca – Remedios Sketch 3

Marisol Baca

Remedios Sketch 3

 

There is an owl face
looking out at me
and a ghost ship of a mouth

Somewhere between her last home
and her future self,
the sun is at her back
she is on a country road

 

Marisol Baca’s artist statement:

Over the past 15 days, I have been writing a poem a day. This concentrated workload allowed me to sit face-to-face with poems that I have been wanting to write for a long time— stories that I have wanted to investigate for a long time. It was a difficult thing to do, but the right time to do it. These poems are about exploring the work of a favorite artist of mine and finding out more about my family history. The first eight poems are interrelated and are about the surrealist painter, Remedios Varo. Her paintings evoke wonder and curiosity in me, and I love them. The second set of poems deal with stories about my great grandmother and her sisters. There are some stories in these poems that I have been thinking about for a long time, maybe even years, and have not been able to write until now. Last week I had a dream about my great grandmother standing at the entrance of a doorway telling me to go ahead and get it done. So I did.

“Personaje”
Personaje, 1961.
Oil and Silver / Cardboard Sheet.
© All Rights Reserved 2015, Remedios Varo.
For any use or reproduction of the work, please contact vegap.
Cat.315-Character-1961

“in eights // octaves”
El Flautista, 1955.
Oil and Nacre Embedded / Masonite.
© Copyright 2019.
For any use or reproduction of work, please contact vegap.
Cat. 127-El-Flutista-1955.

Jeffrey Schultz – IX. Poem Written Eighteen Years after Having First Met the Poet Joshua Robbins on September 11, 2001

Jeffrey Schultz

IX. Poem Written Eighteen Years after Having First Met the Poet Joshua Robbins on September 11, 2001

 

Faith is mute
      with a muteness
All faith’s own.
It is nothing so resounding
As the muteness of god,
Structured though it is
By this same.

We had supposed
Poetry might be made still
            to speak
And worked out the details
In patinaed college-town light,
The cigarette and whiskey-mucked
Cuffs of our blazers
Perfuming our ever-more-precise
Gesticulations, as if such precision
Might lead precisely anywhere.
We know by now both of us
What vain and clamorous silence
Comes of all that.
        On the day we met
The world ushered in
The world it had prepared for itself
And became what it already was.
Our horror has reached its adulthood
And no longer finds any interest in itself.
It wakes disappointed each day from the dream
Of its falling from the height it had climbed.

I have said nothing, my friend,
This whole time and have ushered in
Thereby the world in which
I am committed to stay the course.
What the muteness speaks of
Is the air behind the air,
The sky behind the sky.
These also have nothing to say,
But their muteness
Is just the usual old one,
Same one one might hear any morning,
Any half-sober mid-life afternoon,
And not at all their own.

 

Jeffrey Schultz’s artist statement:

Title of series: Fifteen Variations on Themes from Levis.
In a series of fifteen brief variations, Schultz will meditate on a number of themes–some of them poorly recalled from memory, some of them badly obscured or poorly understood–from Levis’s work.

Marisol Baca – Remedios Sketch 2

Marisol Baca

Remedios Sketch 2

 

If her coat were a watercolor
it would be soaked
its ragged edges would be many wings
her nimbus is flaking gold and robin’s egg blue
her buttoned corset,
her long neck,
the double curve of her cupid’s bow

Here, she is detached
so close to home
she has no pupils no iris
no galaxy’s hot center
she is dislocated
exiled, always
in the escape

 

Marisol Baca’s artist statement:

Over the past 15 days, I have been writing a poem a day. This concentrated workload allowed me to sit face-to-face with poems that I have been wanting to write for a long time— stories that I have wanted to investigate for a long time. It was a difficult thing to do, but the right time to do it. These poems are about exploring the work of a favorite artist of mine and finding out more about my family history. The first eight poems are interrelated and are about the surrealist painter, Remedios Varo. Her paintings evoke wonder and curiosity in me, and I love them. The second set of poems deal with stories about my great grandmother and her sisters. There are some stories in these poems that I have been thinking about for a long time, maybe even years, and have not been able to write until now. Last week I had a dream about my great grandmother standing at the entrance of a doorway telling me to go ahead and get it done. So I did.

“Personaje”
Personaje, 1961.
Oil and Silver / Cardboard Sheet.
© All Rights Reserved 2015, Remedios Varo.
For any use or reproduction of the work, please contact vegap.
Cat.315-Character-1961

“in eights // octaves”
El Flautista, 1955.
Oil and Nacre Embedded / Masonite.
© Copyright 2019.
For any use or reproduction of work, please contact vegap.
Cat. 127-El-Flutista-1955.

Anthony Cody – Everywhere I sleep, 15 of 15

Anthony Cody

Everywhere I sleep, I see Dust Bowl (15 of 15)

Multimedia collage: From Dorothea Lange’s photograph “Employment signs in Spanish and English. Near Fresno, California” (1938)

View image in a new tab (4.7MB)

Download a PDF (884kb)

 

Anthony Cody’s artist statement:

For 15 consecutive nights, in the summer of 2019, I would scour the public domain for images and sounds related to the Dust Bowl era. Very often, I would return to the imagery of Dorothea Lange in her efforts to document the Dust Bowl via the Farm Security Administration. My final waking moments of each day were centered on meditating upon my discoveries, and each morning I’d awaken, have a cup of coffee, and construct a poem. As an homage to the series, I decided I would create each poem on a 15 inch by 15 inch page. The series centers around my current work, which focuses upon the Dust Bowl, climate change, whiteness, capitalism, and technology.